China to play Germany in Women's Rio 2016 Gold Medal MatchPhoto: ITTF
Top seeded China, which the Singles Gold and Silver medalists in their line-up, is heading their way into the Women's Team final to face off surprise finalists Germany to defend their title. The Chinese team made up of world number 1 LIU Shiwen, and two Grand Slam Champions DING Ning and LI Xiaoxia, smashed their way to the final, with a convincing 3-0 victory over Singapore.
Despite FENG Tianwei's (SIN) brave performance in the opening match, the world number four lost 0-3 against the Rio 2016 Singles Silver medalist LI Xiaoxia (CHN) in the opening match, which was crucial if Singapore was going to repeat their 2010 World Team Championships final victory over China.
After the match the London 2012 champion stated: "It's not an easy match, I had to catch up for two of the games. I didn't expect to win 3-0, I was just trying to playing each match to the best I can."
"The preparation process is grueling. We didn't play any matches yesterday, so we were preparing the whole day, you don't know what exactly will happen on court, the only thing we could do is to be positive and enjoy the process. It was better after we came on court."
"Tianwei and I played in the same club in the Chinese Super League for years, and we won the Gold few time together, off court, we are good friends. After I lost the singles final, she also texted me to show encouragement. It's normal for us, that we remain good friends off the table, but we compete our best level on court, that's the beauty of competitive sports."
In the second match 22-year-old ZHOU Yihan (SIN) managed to secure a game against Rio 2016 Olympic Champion DING Ning (CHN), but the world number two's class prevailed in the end winning 3-1 to put China in a commanding 2-0 position.
China's devastating performance continued in the doubles where LIU Shiwen team up with DING Ning to outclass the Singaporean pair of YU Mengyu and ZHOU Yihan 3-0 to clinch victory and set up a date with Germany to battle for gold tomorrow at 19:30 Rio time (-3 GMT).
On China's match against Germany, LI Xiaoxia stated: "I have full faith in our team, of course we want to win, but thinking is not enough, so we have to go back and study the Germany team thoroughly."
"The overall strength of the German team is strong with the line-up of HAN Ying, SHAN Xiaona and Petrissa SOLJA, so we have thought that they will reach the final. For our team, it doesn't matter who our opponent is, we just have to play our best."
"The Women's Team final might be the last time I'm representing my country to compete. My goal will be to win, but the most important thing to show my best self on court."
Singapore must now regroup before their bronze medal match against Japan tomorrow at 11:00am Rio time.