Day 12: Wu retains taekwondo title
Wu Jingyu (left) fights Spain's Brigette Yague Enrique during the women's 49-kg taekwondo final on August 8. Photo: AP
Wu Jingyu of China retained her Olympic taekwondo crown with a dominant performance in the women's under-49kg category at London's ExCel Arena on August 8 as China again clean swept four table tennis titles.
Despite all the changes made to the rackets, rules and competition formats, China's dominance in table tennis was not weakened a bit.
China, led by Ma Long, Zhang Jike and Wang Hao, won the men's table tennis team final against South Korea on Wednesday, making a clean sweep of gold medals for the second consecutive Olympics.
Meanwhile, Wu, the twice world champion was always in control of the final against three-time world champion Brigitte Yague of Spain, winning 8-1.
Chanatip Sonkham of Thailand won the first bronze medal as she connected with two head-kicks in the final round to help her beat Elizabeth Zamora of Guatemala 8-0.Fifth seed Lucija Zaninovic of Croatia took the other bronze medal.
Top seed Wu, 25, was in control of the category all day and never looked like she could lose it. She said she's come a long way since her previous Olympic crown.
"They're different, back in 2008 I was still young and I had a lot of drive," she said. "These last four years have been quite hard on me because I had already won gold.
"I faced a lot of hardship in terms of opponents and the outside world.
"I'm very happy to win another gold this time. I've matured over the last four years and I've been rewarded for the experience I've garnered.
"The biggest reward is that I've become very calm and I'm able to accept hardship."
A three-point head kick in the first round of the final helped her to a 4-0 lead and from there she just eked out her advantage with single-point kicks to the body.
Before that she was in devastating form and ended her quarterfinal and semifinal early on obvious superiority, by accumulating a 12-point lead or more.
First round opponent Zamora made it to the end of her fight, although she was still comfortably beaten 10-2.
The quarter-final against Japan's Erika Kasahara was ended inside the second round as Wu had built up a 14-0 lead in double-quick time.
In the semis, twice European champion Zaninovic failed to make it to the end of the three rounds as she was beaten 19-7.