Heartbreaks and headaches: two more gold medals the highlight on a mixed day for China as they stay second in medal tally

China adds another two golds to the medal tally on day five of the Rio Olympics, and makes history by winning bronze in judo, but it is the one that got away that will haunt divers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 August, 2016, 11:31am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 August, 2016, 9:52pm

China added another two golds to the medal tally on day five of the Rio Olympics, and made history by winning bronze in judo, but it was the one that got away that will haunt Qin Kai and Cao Yuan.

The divers could only manage bronze in the synchronised 3m springboard – denying China the clean sweep of the dive medals they coveted.

But Ding Ning ensured their domination in table tennis continued, beating her countrywoman Li Xiaoxia in a thrilling women’s final.

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And there was another gold in weightlifting, Xiang Yanmei somehow recovering from dropping a bar loaded with 118kg on her head to take top prize.

It was the second time Qin has prevented a diving sweep, as he nearly quit the sport after only managing silver in the solo 3m in London.

“I don’t feel satisfied with the result today,” was his somewhat understated reaction. “We have put a lot of years of effort into this.”

Cao added – “It’s not what I expected … but this is sport.”

Britain’s Jack Laugher and Chris Mears took gold with 454.32 points on a damp and cold day at the dive pool – where the water was still green.

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Americans Sam Dorman and Mike Hixon took silver (450.21) and Cao and Yin had 443.70.

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Xiang seemed dazed after a horrific looking moment in the weightlifting, but somehow recovered. “I got hurt a little bit and I feel hurt when I nod my head,” she said. “I didn’t think about it when lifting weights.”

And China were celebrating their first ever medal in a sport more associated with rivals Japan, judo, after Cheng Xunzhao won bronze.

“I am very excited right now,” he said after beating Mongolian Otonbaatar Lkhagvasuren “This is the first medal for a Chinese man in judo. The bronze medal means a lot, it means ten years of hard working.

“The crowd cheered for me and gave me huge support going into this match. I am very happy with the result.”

Meanwhile, in the men’s table tennis, favourite Ma Long was safely into the semi-finals, and looking forward to getting competition out of the way to get some beer – or something stronger – into him. Ma’s coach had suggested he needed a drink to relax.

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“I won’t [have a drink tonight] – I have a semi-final and the final together, so probably this time I won’t drink,” said Ma.

“After the team competition is all done, I will drink – and I will drink anything I like!”

Ma will probably be up against Zhang Jike in the final, and said the pair would be giving each other the cold shoulder in the coming days before combining in the team event “We have a different schedule.

After the rest tomorrow, the day after tomorrow we will go train separately,” said Ma, whose opponent in the quarters was Quadri Aruna from Nigeria, not a country famed for its table tennis players.

“Ma Long is so much better, so much more faster, everything is just perfect about Ma Long, his speed is just too much for me,” he said.