China defeats Japan in table tennis at Summer Youth Olympics


(Photo: CGTN)

Team China on Wednesday bagged two gold medals in men's and women's table tennis singles at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics as Wang Chuqin defeated Tomokazu Harimoto 4-1 and Sun Yingsha beat Miu Hirano, also 4-1, in the finals.

Wang knocked out Kanak Jha from the US in the semi-final 4-0 while Harimoto went through seven tough games to beat Lin Yunju from the Chinese Taipei.

In the final, Wang and Harimoto both took one game in the first two before the 18-year-old Chinese player swept his Japanese rival with an 11-1 in Game 3. Though Harimoto dragged the match into seesawing battle twice as the two reached respectively 11-11 and 9-9 in the next two games, Wang took his chance and the final victory.

As for Sun Yingsha, she eliminated Archana Girish Kamath from India  4-1 before confronting Miu Hirano who took out Andreea Dragoman from Romania 4-0.

The two girls started a fierce battle from the beginning. Though Sun was leading 3-1 after the first four games, the scoring difference was only two in all of them when the first game once reached 11-11. In the last game, Sun did not leave any chance for Harino and finished the match 11-6.

After the victory, Sun described the gold medal as "the most valuable champion so far" to her. Wang took off his shirt, pointed at his name on it and said: "I want the world to remember the names of my country and myself."

Because of the age limit at the Youth Olympics, some of the competitions were not top level, table tennis is a different story. Japan sent Harimoto and Hirano, two of the best they have with a clear aim for the gold. 

Harimoto currently ranks No. 8 in the world and keeps a glorious record of wins over Chinese rivals including Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Zhang Jike. Hirano is no inferior either as she won women's singles at the 2017 Asian Table Tennis Championships by defeating three Chinese players.

By contrast, Wang and Sun are not as famous as their Japanese rivals but are not to be underestimated. The two youngsters played together and won a mixed gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games. This time, they offered a big hit to the rising Japanese table tennis team and bought the third and fourth gold medals for Team China.