HAN, SHAN and SOLJA secured Olympic medalPhoto: ITTF
2016 Rio Olympic Games
Two times Germany was in the lead, two times Japan nullified their advantage, but in close decisive match HAN Ying beat Ai FUKUHARA to sealed epic thriller. At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Germany won the first medal in the Women's Team's Event. It is first medal for European women in all three events (Singles, Doubles and Team's) after Yugoslavia's pairings Jasna FAZLIC and Gordana PERKUCIN won bronze at the at the inaugural table tennis Olympic tournament in Seoul 1988. Germany will play for gold against the winner of the match between China and Singapore.
Petrissa SOLJA gave Germany a dream start after very close victory over Mima ITO 2-2 (5-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6, 12-10). Japan continued to struggle in the next duel between Kasumi ISHIKAWA and HAN Ying. HAN was two games up before Kasumi recovered. She won next three games in the row.
“We all played with our hearts. We are super happy and can't believe it. They were favorites going in. My head is spinning and I can't speak my thoughts are everywhere. We needed a bit of luck and play or best to have a chance” said Petrissa SOLJA. “Before we came here we wanted this medal so bad. When we saw the draw we knew it was possible. We played perfect.”
In doubles, SHAN Xiaona and SOLJA pushed Germany ahead once again in another full five games match, but Kasumi ISHIKAVA needed only three games in next to secure the decisive match. HAN Ying sealed the encounter.
Germany suffered defeat at the quarter-final stage four years ago in London at the hands of Japan.