World No. 2 Ma Lin claimed the Olympic title, outgunninge Wang Hao 4-1 in an all-Chinese men's singles table tennis Olympic final Saturday evening.
Ma Lin of China reacts in Men's Singles Bronze Medal Match between Wang Hao of China and Ma Lin of China of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games table tennis event at PKU Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 23, 2008. Ma Lin defeated Wang Hao 4-1, and won the gold medal of the event. (Xinhua Photo)
Ma took the game 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9, becoming the third Chinese player to win Olympic men's singles gold, after Liu Guoliang in 1996 Atlanta Games and Kong Linghui in 2000 Sydney Games.
It was also the 20th Olympic gold medal that China bagged since table tennis was introduced at the 1988 Seoul Games.
The 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006 World Cup champion Ma, teamed up with 7th-ranked Chen Qi, won the men's doubles gold medal in Athens, a glory he replayed in Beijng.
Wang Hao suffered a meltdown in the championship final against South Korean Ryu Seung-min in the men's singles four years ago.
Blanking Swedish veteran Jorgen Persson 4-0, 4th-ranked Wang Liqin finished third, completing a clean sweep of the three medals in the men's singles competition.
Veteran Wang Liqin did not make it to the final because he lost to Ma Lin 4-2 in the semifinals.
(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2008)