Team USA fought valiantly but was ultimately brushed aside by third-seeded Germany as the women’s team first round concluded at the Riocentro Friday afternoon. Han Ying and San Xiaona won their opening singles matches at love before a spirited doubles match saw the Americans throw away a chance to get on the board.
Jenny Wu and Jiaqi Zheng were up two sets to one and 10-8 in the doubles match before dropping the next four points to even the game. The Germans didn’t need to be asked twice, taking the rubber match 11-7 and eliminating the Americans from the tournament.
The second-seeded Japanese team also scored a clean sweep, dropping just a lone set to the Polish in a romp. Team Japan is looking to defend their silver medal from London. They’ll face Austria in the quarterfinals after they beat the Netherlands 3-1.
In the day’s final match, Hong Kong recovered from an early singles loss to win nine straight sets and take their match against Chinese Taipei.
The men’s team tournament kicks off this evening at 6:30 PM ET, with all matches streaming live on NBCOlympics.com.
Entering the Rio Games, the question wasn’t whether the Chinese women would defend their team gold – that much was assumed – but just how dominant they would be on their quest to repeat.
With one match in the books, we have an emphatic answer.
Team China didn’t drop a set in their 3-0 victory over hosts Brazil Friday morning at the Riocentro. The defending gold medalists will now face the North Korean delegation Saturday in the quarterfinals. The North Koreans shutout Team Australia in their round of sixteen match.
The Chinese teamsheet reads like an all-star team: Rio’s singles champion Ding Ning is joined by silver medalist and London champion Li Xiaoxia, with world No. 1 Liu Shiwen thrown in for good measure.
Elsewhere there was also a clean sweep for the Singaporean contingent as they dismantled Team Egypt. In the lone competitive match of the day, South Korea outlasted Romania three games to two.
The team table tennis action continues from the Riocentro all day Friday, with the second session of women’s team matches set to begin at 2:00 PM ET. As always, you can catch all the action streaming live on NBCOlympics.com.