Table Tennis: Jike wins gold to complete slam

 

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The Independent Online

World No 1 Zhang Jike powered to victory over Wang Hao in an all-Chinese men's table tennis final, taking China halfway to another clean sweep of golds at London 2012.

Zhang, the 24-year-old reigning world champion and pre-tournament favourite, won 4-1 over his compatriot. He celebrated by leaping over the court surround and kissing the gold medal podium and then draping himself in a Chinese flag.

For Wang, 28, it marked a third successive Olympics singles final defeat.

Both entered the final knowing they could become only the fourth man to complete the slam of World Cup, World Championships and Olympic success, following in the footsteps of countrymen Liu Guoliang – who now coaches China's men – and Kong Linghui as well as Sweden's Jan-Ove Waldner.

But it was Zhang who came out on top, romping to a 4-1 (18-16, 11-5, 11-5, 10-12, 13-11) success and, in the process, becoming the youngest player to achieve the feat.

Germany's Dimitrij Ovtcharov, seeded 8th, took bronze after winning 4-2 against Taiwan's Chuang Chih-Yuan.

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