China Claims Olympic Gold in the Team Events

(Photo: ITTF)

Team China once again displayed its dominance in the world of table tennis after taking gold for the fourth consecutive time in both the male and female categories of the Team events at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

In the Men’s Team event, the illustrious trio of Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin battled with second seed Germany, represented by Timo Boll, Patrick Franziska and Dimitrj Ovtcharov, for the highly sought-after gold medal.

China kicked the final off with a flying start in the initial doubles match; with Xu Xin and Ma Long taking to the table against the German pair of Franziska and Boll, the deadly penhold-shakehand-grip duo overcame their European counterparts with astonishing ease, winning in three straight games.

In response to this swift defeat, Germany looked to the prowess of Ovtcharov to mount a retaliation, pitched against China’s Fan in the singles. However, despite his spectacular effort in challenging Fan throughout, Ovtcharov was unable to seal the deal, losing by a narrow 3-2 scoreline.

With gold now clearly in the sights of the Chinese, it was Ma’s turn to once again step up to the mark. Facing Boll of Germany, three-time men’s singles gold medallist Ma would ultimately end Germany’s desperate plight for glory; unable to cope with Ma’s superior play, Boll succumbed to fate, as China enjoyed yet another triumphant campaign on the Olympic Games stage.

“Our goal was to win three out of the five matches. We believed in each other even when we were trailing in the game. I’m extremely happy to be able to win the gold medal with Xu Xin and Ma Long. I’ve learnt a lot from them, and these are priceless experiences and memories which I’ll never forget,” said Fan Zhendong.

 

Like their male compatriots, top seeds Chen Meng, Wang Mangyu and Sun Yingsha (the latter having replaced Liu Shiwen due to a reoccurring elbow injury) vied for Olympic victory against second seed Japan, represented by Mima Ito, Kasumi Ishikawa and Miu Hirano.

The fierce pairing of Ishikawa and Hirano surprised rivals Chen and Wang, claiming the first game of their starting doubles contest. However, their early lead failed to play its part in affecting the morale of their Chinese counterparts, who immediately reset and rebounded, winning three games on the trot with little opposition.

Next up, Sun and Ito clashed for the second time at Tokyo 2020, having played against each other in the semi-finals of the Women’s Singles event. Determined to achieve another successful result against her Japanese opponent, Sun delivered once more for her country, taking the match 3-1 and putting China within striking distance of gold.

Following Sun’s impressive display, Wang returned to the table to contend with Hirano. In awe-inspiring fashion, Wang dispatched her opponent without so much as a blemish, claiming the match 3-0, and with it, gold for Team China in the Women’s Team Event.

“We prepared ourselves well for the final, and we played really well. This gold medal goes out to everyone who has supported me, the team, coaches, fans and everyone who has played a big role in my development, especially my family. This is also our gift to China,” said Sun Yingsha.

Settling for bronze in the Men’s event, third seed Japan saw-off fourth seed Republic of Korea by a 3-1 score. Meanwhile, in the Women’s event, it was a surprise outcome with Hong Kong, seeded fourth, defeating third seed Germany 3-1 also for a spot on the podium.

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