Tokyo 2020 on 30th July created a historic moment as Ma Long of China become the first man to win four Olympic table tennis gold. While three women have done it earlier.
In an all-Chinese final against compatriot and top seed FAN Zhendong, the more-experienced Ma – team champion in 2012 and 2016 and reigning singles champion from Rio – showed his class and ability to stay calm under pressure when it mattered, successfully defending his title.
Ma races away to an 11–4 lead in the opening game before pushing Fan hard in the second, eventually dropping it 10–12.
Ma Long of China Creates Olympics History – First Man to win 4 Golds – Tokyo 2020
The next two games go the veteran’s way, 11–8 11–9, before Fan – 2014 Youth Olympic Games champion – reminds his counterpart he is still around with an 11–3 fifth game.
In the sixth game, Ma pulls away to 5–2, causing Fan to call time out to recover and gather his thoughts.
The two split the next six points, with Ma holding on to the three-point advantage. Fan sends a return into the net to put Ma two away, before Ma sends one long. 9-6.
Fan then misplays a return, going wide, and Ma has four gold medal points. Fan saves the first with a smart winner on a quick rally.
And there it is! Fan returns into the net on the next point – Ma Long is the champion!
11-4, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 11-7. The Chinese team in the stands stand and applaud him, as do the dignitaries in the VIP box