Day 5: Li smashes her way to gold medal match

Li dominates, moves on to final

Olympics: Table Tennis

Routine dominance was the story of the day in the first women’s singles semifinal as China’s Li Xiaoxia dismissed Japan’s Ai Fukuhara in straight sets. Li, the reigning Olympic champion, now has the chance to defend her gold medal this evening.

Li thoroughly outclassed her opponent throughout and seemed to get better as the contest went on, taking the match 11-4, 11-3, 11-1, 11-1 in just 24 minutes. Li was so in control that at times it looked she was taking points at will. She went on runs of 9-0, 6-0, 9-0, and 8-0 in each respective game.

Time and time again, Fukuhara seemed to be in control of a point, only to see her advantage evaporate with one flick of Li’s wrist, the champion from China turning defense into attack seemlessly.

Li will now await the winner of this other semifinal this morning between her compatriot Ding Ning and North Korea’s Kim Song-I.

The silverware gets handed out tonight with the bronze medal match at 7:30 PM ET, immediately followed by the gold medal match at 8:30 PM ET. As always you can catch all the action streaming live on NBCOlympics.com.

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