China takes both table tennis golds

By Source:Global Times Published: 2014-8-20 23:48:02

The table tennis final matches at the Youth Olympic Games on Wednesday were an all-Asian affair with China's Liu Gao­yang meeting Hong Kong's Doo Hoi Kem in the girls' final and Chinese star Fan Zhendong competing against Japan's Yuto ­Muramatsu in the boys' final.

The women kicked off the gold-medal fight with a thrilling match between Liu and Doo that lasted only five sets and saw Liu smash her competitor with a clear 4-1 victory.

"While athletes from other countries still go to school, the Chinese ­players are professionals and can train ­every day. That's why we are ­often better in the sport," Liu said.

Despite her victory Liu showed nothing but respect for her opponent from Hong Kong who is currently ranked No.1 in the junior world ranking. "Doo is a very tough player and competes on the same level as I," Liu said.

The excitement about Liu's game was nothing compared to the one that Fan encountered. A huge noise level welcomed the Chinese superstar to the field of play, after he had quietly watched the men's bronze-medal match from a corner of Wutaishan Sports Gymnasium.

The noise level continued throughout the tough game, in which Fan often pushed Muramatsu as the only defensive player of the tournament back in the corners of the field. ­Muramatsu gave Fan a run for his money, but lost in a 2-4 defeat.

"It was a great experience to attend the Youth Olympic Games in front of a home crowd," said Fan, who is trying to become the first table tennis player to win gold in both the YOG and the Olympic Games. "This win will make me feel more confident in future Olympic Games."

Posted in: Eye on the ball

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