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Olympic Gold Medal Winners

Olympic Gold Medal Winners - Athens 2004
Ryu Seung Min stunned the table tennis world by taking gold...

Olympic Gold Medal Winners 2004 - Ryu Seung Min

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.

You'll find a list of all the Olympic medal winners here


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Underdog wins gold

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.

Wang 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 11-3, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 11-9.


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Fightback

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 Wang Hao.


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Route to gold

Ryu Seung Min recorded five victories over strong opponents to win his gold medal.

This is who he beat ...

ROUND OPPONENT SCORES RES
Last 32 Koji Matsushita (JPN) 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 11-2 4-0
Last 16 Chiang Peng-Lung (TPE) 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 8-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-4 4-3
Quarter Final Leung Chu Yan (HKG) 6-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 4-2
Semi Final Jan-Ove Waldner (SWE) 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 4-1
Final Wang Hao (CHN) 11-3, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 11-9 4-2

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The crucial winning points

This short video shows the crucial final points as Ryu Seung Min wins his gold medal...

 

 


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The medal ceremony

This short video shows the players collecting their medals ...

 

Olympic Rings logo


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MORE 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...

Olympic Games

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

World Championships

 

ITTF World Tour

 

World Cup

 

European Championships

 

Commonwealth Games

 

 

 

See Who Performed Best

World Rankings

 

Table Tennis Events Calendars

 

Table Tennis Officials


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