LONDON – China again swept all four Olympic gold medals in table tennis, just like it did four years ago at home in Beijing.
In fact, men’s coach Liu Guoliang said China has the “homecourt advantage” no matter where it plays.
“In table tennis, wherever it is, we are the hosts,” said Liu after China delivered one of its most pressure-packed gold medals of the London Olympics, completing the sweep with a 3-0 victory Wednesday over South Korea in the men’s team final.
China has won 24 of 28 gold medals since the sport entered the Olympics in 1988.
The Asians won two gold and two silvers in singles at the London Games. They could have won more, but nations this time were limited to two singles players instead of three.
China also took the women’s team gold Tuesday.
South Korean coach Yoo Nam-kyu, a singles gold-medalist in 1988, suggested some players are beaten just knowing the opponent is Chinese.
“Players might be confident the first time they play China, but when they lose once, twice or 10 times it’s only natural they are already beaten,” he said.
“Even if they are not psychologically vulnerable, they are always questioning if they have the same amount of training to complete with their Chinese counterparts.”
China’s Ma Long defeated Ryu Seung-min, the 2004 Olympic singles champion, in the first set of the best-of-five series, which combines singles and doubles.
That set the stage for China’s sweep with gold medalist Zhang Jike beating Joo Sae-hyuk, followed by the doubles victory to make it 3-0. — AP