Mizutani and Ito Mima outclassed Xu/Liu in final game to win the inaugural Olympics mixed doubles table tennis gold.
It is the first time since Athens 2004 that China have not won a gold medal in table tennis!
MIZUTANI Jun and ITO Mima (JPN) roll off 5 straight points to open the decider, leaving opponents XU Xin / LIU Shiwen (CHN) looking a little shell-shocked.
After a break, Mizutani and Ito win the next three points. Incredible scenes! Xu and Liu look on grimly. This was not how the script was meant to be written for them.
It’s first time since Athens 2004 that China have not won a gold medal in table tennis!
The Chinese pair finally get on the board in the decider with two quick points, but they are still a long way back.
Xu sends a return long and the Japanese pair are two points away. Not sure they can believe this given how strongly Xu and Liu began this final.
A fast rally ends with Mizutani missing the table, then Ito finds the net. 9–4 in this final game to Japan.
Japan’s top-ranked men’s singles player, HARIMOTO Tomokazu, reacting on Twitter:
China couldn’t, could they? A third straight point as it’s Mizutani’s turn to return into the net.
Gold medal point is brought up! Liu sends a return long! The first match point is saved.
But on the next point, Xu returns a service into the net and it’s all over!