It's All China

by alexda - Date: 2008-08-18 - Word Count: 396 Share This!

China Sunday ensured its home Olympics will go down as its greatest ever after its women's table tennis team won the hosts' 33rd gold of the Games to overtake its previous best tally at Athens in 2004.

Zhang Yining, Guo Yue and Wang Nan celebrate after winning the women's team gold August 17 2008.

The women won the table tennis team event, beating Singapore 3-0. The team event is new in the Games. The first team to win three (two singles and a doubles) matches wins.

Guo Yue and Zhang Yining clinched the decisive doubles rubber 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 in front of Chinese President Hu Jintao, who was watching from the stands.

"Although we have the best players in the world ... (we) fought hard for it in the final," said China's coach Shi Zhihao.

"We have won almost every title possible in the past but this gold has added significance to us because it is the first Olympic team title."

For Singapore, winning the silver was remarkable accomplishment. This is only the second medal in Olympic history for the small nation.

They are coached by Liu Guodong, the former Chinese team player and older brother of Chinese team head coach Liu Guoliang.

"We are really happy for this achievement. After China, we are the best in the world," said Liu Guodong. "We were determined to win a medal in Beijing."

Zhang, the top player in the world, led the hosts as China picked Singapore apart with near-flawless execution, dishing out shots to the edges and corners of the table.

A near-capacity crowd at Peking University Gymnasium chanted "Go China" throughout the evening.

South Korea took the bronze medal with a victory over Japan.

Olympic veteran Wang Nan -- who matched the record with four Olympic titles -- took the first match against Singapore's Feng Tianwei 3-1.

"This gold is the most important one to me. It is my first Olympic team title and also the hardest one," said Wang who now has a chance to win a record five Olympic gold medals in the sport if she takes the women's singles title.

"I was very nervous before the final, because table tennis is our national pride and we must take the title."

After Wang's victory, Zhang then faced a determined Li Jiawei of Singapore in the second match. After losing the first game to Li, Zhang found her pace and won three straight for a 3-1 victory.

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