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Zhang Yining wins China's 100th gold

World number one Zhang Yining thrashed her unseeded opponent, 11-8, 11-7, 11-2, 11-2 to add the singles title to the doubles crown she won with Wang Nan on Friday.
By Karl Malakunas (AFP) | PTI, Athens
UPDATED ON AUG 22, 2004 10:55 PM IST

World number one Zhang Yining won her second gold medal and China's 100th-ever on Sunday with a commanding victory in the women's singles table tennis over North Korea's Kim Hyang-Mi.

Zhang thrashed her unseeded opponent, ranked 40 in the world, 11-8, 11-7, 11-2, 11-2 to add the singles title to the doubles crown she won with Wang Nan on Friday.

Kim Hyang-Mi, 24, had intimidated her opponents during her surprise run to the finals, which included a win over Chinese world number three Nia Jianfeng, with her fierce topspin backhand and aggressive on-court demeanour.

But Zhang, backed by a vocal crowd of Chinese supporters waving national flags, calmly counter-attacked and quickly broke down her rival's game.

The rake-thin 22-year-old blew kisses into the air and ran to hug her coach, Li Sin, after her win. She later dedicated the gold to Li, who has coached her since she was 13.

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