China takes team gold to complete table tennis sweep
China completed a sweep of the table tennis gold medals by beating Japan 2-0 in the mixed international team event at Nanjing’s Wutaishan Sports Centre.
Women’s singles gold medallist Liu Gaoyang made light work of Miyu Kato (JPN) before men’s singles winner Fan Zhendong overcame Yuto Muramatsu (JPN) to render a third match unnecessary.
“I’m not feeling well so I didn’t perform well in my singles match and lost it,” Kato said. “And [Liu’s] power, speed and reach gave her an advantage. We were putting our hope in the mixed doubles and hoping our teamwork could help.”
Liu beat her Japanese opponent 3-0 (11-3, 11-9, 11-9) but Fan then received a scare as he lost his first game against Muramatsu – whom he had already beaten to take the men’s singles gold – and found himself 8-5 down in the second, prompting a timeout by China.
“Today the points lost were of my own doing,” Fan said. “I was relaxed at the start and everything went according to plan. But losing the first game put me in a spot.”
On the timeout, he said: “We didn’t change much because the experience of the singles final had already taught us what game plan to use. Maybe what it did more was calm me down and ready myself for a tiring match.”
He eventually triumphed 3-1 (10-12, 14-12, 11-5, 11-5).
Junior world number one Doo Hoi Kem (HKG) routed Tamolwan Khetkhuan (THA) 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 11-5) before teammate Hung Ka Tak beat a tough Padasak Tanviriyavechakul (THA) 3-1 (8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10).
It was Doo’s second medal of Nanjing 2014, following the silver she took in the women’s singles.
“[This team medal] is more meaningful because we practised for a long time in Hong Kong,” she said. “The team event means more because there are two people and it also wasn’t easy for him [Hung]. He was under a lot of pressure.
“He played really well today. For him to survive the last game wasn’t easy,” added Doo.