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Table Tennis Day 11 Review: China sweeps medals to achieve perfect Olympics

Updated: 2008-08-23 23:20:52
Table Tennis Day 11 Review: China sweeps medals to achieve perfect Olympics
(L-R) Wang Hao, Ma Lin and Wang Liqin on the podium with their medals (Photo credit: Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images)

(BEIJING, August 23) -- China made a clean sweep of medals in the Men's Singles Table Tennis competition at the Peking University Gymnasium on Saturday. It was the first time one country has won all the medals in the Men's Singles event.

Ma Lin won gold, while silver went to Wang Hao and bronze to Wang Liqin. The Chinese Men's trio emulated the feat of their female Table Tennis compatriots, who, 24 hours earlier, had occupied all three steps of the Women's Singles victory podium.

For Wang Hao, it was his second straight silver after finishing second at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games to Ryu Seung-min of the Republic of Korea. The bronze medal was Wang Liqin's second in a row, after also finishing third four years previously, when he beat Jan-Ove Waldner of Sweden in the Athens bronze medal contest.

Table Tennis Day 11 Review: China sweeps medals to achieve perfect Olympics
Gold medalist Ma Lin celebrates. (Photo credit: Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Ma Lin, a three-time runner-up in Men's Singles at the World Championships, finally tasted victory in a major championship. Ma had a three-games-to-one lead against Wang Hao on Saturday before Wang mounted a furious comeback, but Ma Lin saw off his compatriot in a long point at 10-9 to seal gold. Ma is the most successful male Table Tennis player in the Olympics, with three Olympic gold medals.

Table Tennis Day 11 Review: China sweeps medals to achieve perfect Olympics
Jorgen Persson competes in the bronze medal match (Photo credit: Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images)

In the bronze medal contest, 42-year-old Jorgen Persson of Sweden made the better start against Wang Liqin, leading for much of the opening game, before Wang recovered to win it 13-11. It was the confidence boost that the world champion needed.

Wang Liqin dominated the second and third games as Persson, laboring with a thigh strain, was forced to call the masseur prior to the start of the fourth game. After a five-minute break, the Swede came out with all guns ablaze before Wang Liqin steadied and emerged victorious.

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