Table tennis: China's men complete title sweep
Updated: Wednesday, 08 Aug 2012 19:07
China completed a sweep of all the Olympic table tennis golds on Wednesday when their men stormed to victory over South Korea to clinch the team title on the closing day of the London Games tournament.
The heavily favoured Chinese defended their 2008 title by slamming South Korea 3-0 to pick up the nation's fourth gold and keep all Olympic titles in Chinese hands for another four years.
China swept all four titles at Beijing, and some had wondered whether they could maintain the intensity without the home support at the London Games.
However, a chanting crowd festooned with the red flags of China was in full voice as Ma Long and Zhang Jike won their respective singles matches over Ryu Seungmin and Joo Saehyuk to give the hosts a 2-0 lead.
Wang Hao and Zhang then secured the gold by beating Oh Sangeun and Ryu to clinch the best of five matches final and spark delirious cheering from the Chinese fans in the stands at the ExCel Arena hall.
Wang and Zhang embraced and acknowledged roaring fans with pumping fists and a military-style salute before strolling a half-lap of honour around the venue with Ma and their coach.
Beijing silver medallists Germany took bronze by defeating Hong Kong 3-1 earlier on Wednesday, with European champion Timo Boll securing the decisive singles victory in four sets over Jiang Tianyi.