6th August, 2021
China’s men took team gold on Friday, brushing Germany aside 3-0 in the final to put the seal on a dominant Olympic table tennis campaign.
Up against the world’s top three paddlers in Fan Zhendong, Ma Long and Xu Xin, the German team were always facing an uphill struggle, and China’s Xu and Ma steamrollered their opponents 3-0 in the opening doubles match.
But world number seven Dimitrij Ovtcharov then fought hard to try to turn the tables against world number one Fan, eventually going down 2-3.
World number two Ma then sealed the victory by beating Timo Boll 11-5 11-9 11-13 11-7, to give China their fourth gold in the sport’s five events at Tokyo 2020.
Earlier, Japan clinched bronze with a 3-1 win over South Korea.
Jun Mizutani and Koki Niwa guided the team event to a good start with a win against South Korean duo Lee Sangsu and Jeoung Youngsik. World number four Tomokazu Harimoto, aged 18, followed with a 3-1 win in the singles match against Jang Woojin, 25.
South Korea fought back with Jeoung crushing Niwa 3-0, but Mizutani sealed Japan’s victory with a win over Jang.
“When Mizutani was leading the opponent 9-2 at the deciding game, Harimoto was already asking me how we should approach him to celebrate the victory,” Niwa said after the match.