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Friday, August 12, 2016, 15:26

Ma Long beats defending champion Zhang

By Agencies

China's Ma Long overwhelmed his teammate and defending champion Zhang Jike with a 4-0 win to seize gold in the men's table tennis singles final on Thursday, with Japan's Jun Mizutani claiming the bronze.

Ma shaped his fingers into a love-heart that he signalled to the spectators as he celebrated his victory. He then held up a Chinese flag with Zhang to reflect the country's continued domination in the game.

"To win a gold medal at Olympic Games has long been my dream ever since I started my career as a table tennis player," said Ma after the 37-minute final.

"Today I live up to my dream," he added. "But most importantly, Jike and I played a high-level game and showed the very best of table tennis. I think that's more important than winning a medal, in sake of the sport and its future."

Ma made short work of teammate Zhang 14-12, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4. It has been Team China's 11th gold at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, while Zhang added a silver.

Ma Long beats defending champion Zhang
Ma Long, of China, right, hugs Zhang Jike, also of China, after Ma Long won the gold medal in the men's table tennis gold medal match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Ma Long beats defending champion Zhang
Ma Long, of China (center) holds his gold medal as he stands with silver medalist Zhang Jike, of China (left) and bronze medal winner Jun Mizutani, of Japan (right) after the men's table tennis gold medal match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

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