London 2012

China at top table

Chinese see off Japan 3-0 to win team gold

Last Updated: 07/08/12 10:29pm

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Li, Guao and Ding celebrate with their gold medals

Li, Guao and Ding celebrate with their gold medals

China claimed the women's team gold to remain on course for a clean sweep of the table tennis titles at London 2012.

Ding Ning, Li Xiaoxia and Guo Yue overcame Japan 3-0 in Tuesday's final to win the third of four possible golds.

Only the men's team title is now up for grabs - and China will go for gold in that final against South Korea on Wednesday.

As is often the case when China and Japan meet, the additional power of the Chinese proved pivotal.

That was particularly evident in the first match as singles champion Li beat Ai Fukuhara.

Fukuhara was initially competitive and after losing the opening game, levelled their tussle in impressive fashion.

Yet Li stepped on the accelerator thereafter, with a series of powerful forehands and backhand flicks ensuring she took the next two games 11-2 and 11-5.

World number one Ding, chasing a first Olympic gold having settled for second place in the individual format, looked in a determined mood.

Inspired

Powerful on both sides, the world champion was inspired by a vocal crowd and looked in complete control throughout against Kasumi Ishikawa.

Her opponent, who finished fourth in the singles, threatened a comeback after losing the opening game.

Indeed, Ishikawa led for much of the next, only for Ding's top-spin loaded forehands to come to the fore as she took it 12-10.

The third game was a decidedly easier affair as Ding put China on the brink of further gold.

Their success was then sealed in another dominant match, with Guo and Li brushing aside Sayaka Hirano and Ishikawa in the doubles 3-1 - 11-6, 11-3, 9-11, 11-5.

The silver was still Japan's first ever table tennis Olympic medal, while Singapore beat South Korea in the bronze-medal play-off.

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