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.