China's Chen hits back at critics after winning Tokyo table tennis gold | Inquirer Sports
Close  

China’s Chen hits back at critics after winning Tokyo table tennis gold

/ 02:52 PM July 30, 2021
Gold medalist Chen Meng of China poses with her medal

 Gold medalist Chen Meng of China poses with her medal in the women’s singles tennis of the Tokyo Olympics. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

China’s Chen Meng hopes this will be the start of “my own era” after she defeated compatriot Sun Yingsha to win the women’s singles table tennis title at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.

In a battle between the top two seeds and teammates, Chen lost the first game before prevailing 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9 to grab her first Games gold.

ADVERTISEMENT

Chen and Sun embraced at the end and then together unfurled a large Chinese flag.

China, who have now won 29 of the 34 table tennis golds in the history of the Olympics, will add one more on Friday — the men’s final is another all-Chinese clash between the top two seeds.

FEATURED STORIES

On Monday, China was stunned by the hosts in the final of the mixed doubles, Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito’s victory bringing Japan their first-ever Olympic table tennis title.

But China, who swept all the golds in the sport at the previous three Olympics, took over the men’s and women’s singles draws on Thursday to reassert their table tennis supremacy.

Chen Meng of China celebrates with coach Ma Lin after winning her match against Sun Yingsha of China

Chen Meng of China celebrates with coach Ma Lin after winning her match against Sun Yingsha of China in the women’s singles Tokyo Olympics table tennis. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

Chen said that gold was an emphatic riposte to those who had doubted her — at 27 she is the oldest woman to win the women’s singles crown.

“Over the years I have experienced a lot, I have lost and I have been questioned,” she said defiantly.

“Only I know how hard it was to win today, so I want to tell myself — you did it.

“I hope from this moment that I can really begin to build my own era,” she added.

Ito, the home hope who had been seen as a threat to the Chinese, took bronze having lost comprehensively in the semi-finals to Sun.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ito, who like Sun is just 20, admitted that there had been “a gulf in class”.

“My goal was to win, so I’m glad that I could win the bronze-medal match, but I feel more frustrated,” said the Japanese.

“I’m super frustrated.”

In the men’s semifinals, China’s reigning Olympic champion Ma Long needed seven thrilling games to see off the determined Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany.

Ma meets compatriot Fan Zhendong for gold in another all-Chinese showdown, but the top seed was also made to sweat by Taiwan’s 19-year-old Lin Yun-ju, before emerging over seven similarly hard-fought games.

RELATED STORIES

China on course to send record number of athletes to Olympics

No Sun Yang, but China eager to atone for ‘worst Olympic flop’

Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: China, table tennis, Tokyo Olympics
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our sports news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.