China win the Men’s Team title at the Rio 2016 Olympic GamesPhoto: Rémy Gros ITTF
China faced severe challenge in the final, but survived to win the Men’s Team title at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
MA Long, XU Xin and ZHANG Jike, recorded a three matches to one success in opposition to the brave fourth seeded Japanese outfit comprising Jun MIZUTANI, Koi NIWA and Maharu YOSHIMURA.
In the opening match Koki NIWA faced MA Long. At the 2012 Asian Olympic Games Qualification Tournament staged in Hong Kong, Koki NIWA had sensationally beaten Ma Long, but he could not repeat that success. MA Long prevailed in straight games (11-6, 11-9, 11-6)
Jun MIZUTANI's outstanding performance against XU Xin, brought back the hope for Japan. He won the first two games, lost the next two and trailed 7-10 in the decider before he won the next five points(12-10, 11-9, 3-11, 7-11, 12-10).
The reigning World champions XU Xin and ZHANG Jike faced the challenge from Koki NIWA and Maharu YOSHIMURA. Koki Niwa and Maharu Yoshimura captured the opening game. However, the next three games went to Xu Xin and Zhang Jike (4-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5).MA Long sealed the match with the victory over Maharu YOSHIMURA in three straight games (11-1. 11-4, 11-4).
The win meant that in Men’s Table Tennis events at an Olympic Games, Xu Xin became the 14th Chinese player to win gold. Overall in male competitions, China has now won a total of 13 titles with 24 gold medals being presented. They have won the Men’s Singles title on four occasions. Also they won the Men’s Doubles title on all five occasions the event was staged.
Now they have won the Men’s Team gold medal on all three occasions the event has been held. In 2008 when the competition was first staged it was Ma Lin, Wang Hao and Wang Liqin; now in 2016 it is Ma Long, Xu Xin and Zhang Jike.