Alexa

Chinese men poised for table tennis medal sweep

Chinese men poised for table tennis medal sweep

China was poised to sweep the men's singles table tennis medals Saturday, after world No. 1 Wang Hao defeated his Swedish semifinal opponent to ensure an all-China gold medal match.
The Chinese are making their strongest showing ever in Olympic table tennis, the national sport for the country of 1.3 billion people.
The Chinese women sealed a singles sweep Friday night after young star Guo Yue defeated Li Jia Wei of Singapore to win the bronze. World No. 1 Zhang Yining won her fourth Olympic gold, and four-time gold medalist Wang Nan took the silver. The Chinese men and women already have won the team event.
"Tonight, I think we'll just see how it goes. The gold medal already belongs to us," said Wang Hao, looking to make up for losing in the 2004 Athens Games final to South Korea's Ryu Seung-min. "I've done my share, I've completed my task."
Wang will play world No. 2 Ma Lin in the final.
Only one player stood between China and a record eight-medal haul in table tennis _ Sweden's Jorgen Persson.
The 42-year-old Persson, playing in his sixth Olympics and still seeking his first medal, challenged the 25-year-old Wang with a powerful game that included rallying 10 feet away from the table. But the lanky Swede could not overcome his younger and more nimble opponent. Wang won 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9.
"I had a lot of difficulties during the match, but I was able to tough them out," Wang said. "At the last Olympics, I lost the men's singles title. ... At this Olympics, the men's title now belongs to the Chinese."
Persson will play world No. 4 Wang Liqin for the bronze. The Swede had said previously that he could break through the "Great Wall" of the Chinese team. His opinion had not changed after losing to Wang Hao.
"I could not make it now, I have to try and make it tonight," he said. "It's a hard wall to break, but it's possible."
Wang Liqin lost to Ma in the other semifinal, a thriller that had the crowd cheering and whistling throughout. The game featured frequent ties and lead changes as the teammates tried to outwit each other with everything from soft shots to long loops.
Ma won 11-5, 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 3-11, 11-8.


Updated : 2021-03-02 07:30 GMT+08:00