Chen Meng beat fellow Chinese table tennis player Sun Yingsha in six sets (9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9) to win the Olympic gold medal in women’s table tennis on Thursday.
Nearly seven years older than Sun, 20, Chen rose to the top of the table tennis world in her mid-20s, but never competed in the Olympics or won a world championship. She did, however, win several other ITTF events, and she was the runner-up behind Liu Shiwen at the 2019 world championships.
Sun was named to the Chinese squad ahead of Liu and had an impressive run throughout the tournament, including a straight-set semi-final victory over the Japanese favorite. Ito Mima, who won bronze with a 4-1 victory over Singapore Yu mengyu to add to her gold medal in mixed doubles which interrupted the streak of Olympic gold medals that China won in all table tennis events from 2008. Liu played in that mixed doubles final against Ito and his partner Mizutani June.
China has maintained its grip on women’s singles competition, having won the event at every Olympic Games since the sport was added in 1988.
Chen, Sun and Liu will be teammates in the team event from Sunday.
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