Olympic table tennis: China's women beat Japan for team gold

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China take team table tennis gold

China's women have won team gold at London 2012 after a dominant display against opponents Japan.

New women's individual champion Li Xiaoxia started with a hard-fought win, overpowering 23-year-old Ai Fukuhara in four games: 11-6 9-11 11-2 11-5.

The next singles match was more straightforward for China, with Ding Ning defeating Japanese teenager Kasumi Ishikawa in three games.

In the doubles match China's pairing overcame Japan in four to take gold.

China's dominance in women's table tennis, which has seen them win all Olympics singles titles since the sport was introduced in 1988 and all but one of the doubles or team events, meant that Japan faced an uphill struggle from the off and required a good start to gain a foothold in the match.

Ishikawa, a superstar in Japan with her own branded computer game a best seller, at one stage managed a run of six straight points, the best in the match and enough to claim the second game.

But she was never able to amass enough points on her own serve, and gradually slipped to defeat to Li, the world number one.

The second game was a more comprehensive affair with Ding, who lost the women's individual final to Li on Thursday, soon getting into her stride against Ishikawa of Japan.

The first game was over inside five minutes with China winning 11-4. Although Ishikawa pressurised her opponent more in the second Ding still prevailed 12-10, before closing out the match with another 11-4.

In the third match, a doubles contest, Li was joined by China's powerhouse competitor - Yue Guo had not lost in doubles since September 2008.

Her winning run continued, Japan's pairing of Sayaka Hirano and Ishikawa unable to match the pace, skill and power of the Chinese, who clinched the gold medal for their trio with a score of 11-6 11-3 9-11 11-5.

In the bronze medal match Singapore overcame South Korea inside 50 minutes, though the London crowd enjoyed all three matches going to four games.

Final Results

Final results by Country
Rank Athlete Country Medal moment
1 Ning, Guo, Li China
2 Fukuhara, Hirano, Ishikawa Japan
3 Tianwei, Li, Wang Singapore