Tokyo, July 30 (ANC) History repeated itself at the Tokyo Summer Games on Friday when Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov once again denied Taiwan its first Olympic table tennis medal in men’s singles.
Taiwan’s 19-year-old table tennis sensation Lin Yun-ju (林 昀 儒) had his chances in the best-of-seven bronze medal match, collecting four match points in a dramatic sixth game, but l ‘German saved them all and blunted another rally in the final match for a 13-11, 9-11, 6-11, 11-4, 4-11, 15-13, 11-7 triumph.
Taiwan’s previous best result in men’s singles dates back to nine years in London, when Chuang Chih-yuan (莊智淵) lost heart in six games in the bronze medal match against Ovtcharov, 14-12 in the final match.
Lin had a better chance of breaking through the drought, but he regretted his inability to convert any of his four match points.
“I didn’t feel particularly nervous, but I know I didn’t play some of those points well,” Lin said.
The “Silent Assassin,” as he is called due to his composure under pressure, struggled out of the gate in the last game, losing 9-3.
“By this point the momentum had shifted towards my opponent, and all I could do was try to catch one point at a time,” he said.
He rallied for four straight points to get closer to 9-7, but Ovtcharov closed the game when Lin hit a backhand into the net.
“All I can do now is go home and figure out how to get better,” Lin said.
His trainer Chiang Peng-lung (蔣澎龍) said Lin was exceptional in his first Olympic appearance, which saw the world No.6 teenager almost beat World No.1 Fan Zhendong (樊振東) from China in the semi. -final.
Chiang felt Lin tightened, however, in the later stages of Friday’s game because he wanted too much to win, but said that would change with experience.
“He has a great opportunity in the future and will now look to the 2024 Olympics in Paris,” Chiang said.
The German praised Lin for pushing him to the brink, but said he remained focused on playing hard rather than thinking about results, which got him through.
Asked about bronze in Taiwan for the second time in nine years, Ovtcharov said Chuang was a very good friend and Lin was a teammate of his at his European club, but ultimately the Olympics are a competition.
He had no doubt, however, that Lin would break through in the future.
“He will definitely win a medal one day,” said the German.