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China's men crowned at Olympic table tennis
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09:29, August 19, 2008

China lifted the men's Olympic team table tennis crown Monday after downing European powerhouse Germany 3-0 in the final.

It was the second team title China claimed at Beijing table tennis tournament, 24 hours after the host's women stood atop of the podium. The gold medal was also the 18th China won since the sport was introduced to the 1988 Seoul Games.

The Chinese men, laden with champions, met little resistance from German challengers who went all out to derail the Chinese juggernaut and failed.

Germany, by finishing second, reaped its best-ever result since Jorg Rosskopf claimed the men's singles bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Games.


Wang Hao of China celebrates after defeating Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany during the men's team gold medal contest between China and Germany of Beijing Olympic Games table tennis event in Beijing, China, Aug. 18, 2008. China beat Germany 3-0 and claimed the title in this event. (Xinhua Photo)

Wang Hao lived up to his world No. 1 billing as he breezed past 14th-ranked Dimitrij Ovtcharov 3-0 in 20 minutes.

Dropping one set, Ma Lin managed to extend the Chinese squad's winning stream to 2-0 after fending off ferocious charges of 6th-ranked veteran Timo Boll 3-1.

Ma Lin of China celebrates after defeating Timo Boll of Germany during the men's team gold medal contest between China and Germany of Beijing Olympic Games table tennis event in Beijing, China, Aug. 18, 2008. China beat Germany 3-0 and claimed the title in this event. (Xinhua/Xu Yu)

Boll, then paired with Christian Suss, took away one set from the hands of Wang Hao/Wang Liqin.

The Chinese duo came back strong to finish off the defiant Germans 3-1, bringing cheers from the frenzied home crowd with every winning shot.

"This is the maximum we can achieve because China is too dominant in this sport. I feel regret that I lost my game but is happy that we made it to the final," Ovtcharov said. The German sensation beat Kan Yo of Japan 3-2 to contribute to his team's advancing to the team final.

"We overcame difficulties and clinched victory thanks to our adequate preparation," Wang Hao said.

The 24-year-old added that he and Wang Liqin paired well to win the doubles despite the first set loss.

"China came into the tournament with mental stress, but today they brought out their best. They deserve to win," Boll said.

"I played well against Boll, especially in the last two sets, which required both courage and skills," said Ma Lin.

Tears welled in Ma's eyes when the four-time World Cup winner and his teammates stood atop of the podium.

"I recalled what I've come through at that moment, " Ma said.

According to the men's head coach Liu Guoliang, the Chinese squad only fulfilled half of the must-win target by claiming the team title. "We are looking forward to the single's title and are confident to accomplish the target," a determined Liu said.

The Chinese men's team whitewashed South Korea 3-0 to storm into the team final while Germany crushed a dogged Japan 3-2 to set up a meeting with China.

Earlier on Monday, South Korea steamrolled Austria 3-1 to capture men's team bronze medal.

South Korea pitted 15th-ranked Oh Sang Eun, Ryu Seung Min and Yoon Jae Young against Austrian 2003 world champion Werner Schlager, Robert Gardos and former Chinese player Chen Weixing.

Being tied one-all in games, the doubles confrontation between Oh/Yoon and Gardos/Chen turned back in South Korea's favor as Oh/Yoon overcame the Austrian duo's challenge to prevail 3-0.

The defense of 31st-seeded chopper Chen Weixing went into pieces under Ryu's waves of attacks, losing the fourth game 3-0.

Source:Xinhua

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2 USA 22 24 26 72
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3 Australia 11 10 12 33
5 Germany 9 7 7 23
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