Tokyo Olympics: Chinese paddlers dominate again to reach singles finals

The results mean that China will dominate the showpiece matches at the Tokyo Games in the women's and men's singles events just as they have since the 2008 Games.

China has long enjoyed dominance in the sport, especially in the women's singles where the Asian powerhouse has always won the gold medal at the Olympics.   -  Getty Images

China's Sun Yingsha crushed Japanese paddler Mima Ito in the semifinals of the women's table tennis singles, while Rio champion Ma Long edged out Germany's Dimitrij Ovtcharov to reach the men's gold medal match.

World number three Sun, who has won six of the eight previous meetings against Ito, overwhelmed the Japanese paddler with an 11-3 11-9 11-6 11-4 victory to set up a final against compatriot and world number one Chen Meng later on Thursday.

Chen, who along with Sun is competing at her first Olympics, beat Singapore paddler Yu Mengyu 4-0.

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In the men's singles, China's Fan Zhendong won 4-3 against Taiwan's Lin Yun Ju, while defending champion Ma beat Ovtcharov by the same score to reach Friday's final.

The results mean that China will dominate the showpiece matches at the 2020 Tokyo Games in the women's and men's singles events just as they have since the 2008 Games.

China has long enjoyed dominance in the sport, especially in the women's singles where the Asian powerhouse has always won the gold medal at the Olympics.

"I will treat the final match just like any other match," the 27-year-old Chen told reporters ahead of the showdown at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

"I've always looked forward to fighting against Ito, who's the same age as me," Sun told reporters.

"Whether I win or lose, there's a lot of joy every time I face her. I really enjoy the competition because we can bring out each other's best and fighting spirit. I love playing against her," said the 20-year old, who is the same age as Ito.

Sun has enjoyed a 4-0 sweep in all of her matches at the Tokyo Games so far.

Mixed doubles gold medallist Ito, the biggest rival to the Chinese heavyweights, quickly scurried off the stage with tears blurring her eyes as she prepares for the bronze medal match.

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