Olympic Gold Medal Winners - Athens 2004
Ryu Seung Min stunned the table tennis world by taking gold ...
An unexpected victory in the men's singles final in Athens in 2004 saw Ryu Seung Min of South Korea join the exclusive olympic gold medal winners club.
Third seed Ryu Seung Min of South Korea stunned the table tennis world when he defeated Wang Hao of China in the men's singles final on 23 August 2004.
Ryu Seung Min, aged 22, took the men's singles gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games with a dramatic win over China's Wang Hao.
Hao was looking to complete a clean sweep of gold medals for China following their victories in the women's singles and both doubles competitions.
With Ryu Seung Min having never previously beaten Wang Hao, the odds were on a China victory.
But China's domination of the table tennis events came to an end when third seed Ryu Seung Min won by 11-3 9-11 11-9 11-9 11-13 11-9.
But it wasn't easy ...
South Korea's Ryu Seung Min repeatedly fought back in the final as Wang Hao started each game strongly ... and he finally secured victory with a huge forehand down the line.
"Even though I won, I have to admit that Wang Hao is a better player than I am," said Ryu.
"He was under a lot more pressure than I was."
Coming into Athens, China had won 13 of the 16 gold medals since the sport was added to the Olympics in 1988.
"We won all the four golds in 1996, we won all the four golds in 2000 and we won three golds here, so we're still the strongest and most invincible team." said Hao.
So how did he do it?
Ryu Seung Min recorded five victories over strong opponents to win his gold medal.
This is who he beat ...
|Last 32||Koji Matsushita (JPN)||11-9, 11-6, 11-6
|Last 16||Chiang Peng-Lung (TPE)||11-6, 11-6, 7-11
8-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-4
|Quarter Final||Leung Chu Yan (HKG)||6-11, 10-12, 11-6
11-6, 11-9, 11-5
|Semi Final||Jan-Ove Waldner (SWE)||11-9, 9-11, 11-9
|Final||Wang Hao (CHN)||11-3, 9-11, 11-9
11-9, 11-13, 11-9
This short video shows the crucial final points as Ryu Seung Min wins his gold medal ...
This short video shows the players collecting their medals ...
|RELATED PAGES ABOUT
TABLE TENNIS AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES
|For more information about table tennis at the Olympic Games, take a look at my other articles...
2004 Olympic Games - Athens, Greece
2008 Olympic Games - Beijing, China
2012 Olympic Games - London, England
2016 Olympic Games - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Other Major Tournaments
ITTF World Tour
See Who Performed Best
Table Tennis Events Calendars
Table Tennis Officials