London, England (Sports Network) - China's Li Xiaoxia beat No. 1 seed Ding Ning to win the women's table tennis tournament, beating her countrywoman four games to one Wednesday for the sport's first gold medal in London.
Li, the No. 2 seed, only lost the third game on the way to an 11-8, 14-12, 8-11, 11-6, 11-4 victory in 51 minutes.
It was a predictable way for the first gold medal match of the London Olympics to play out, even if the lower seed won.
The Chinese team arrived here all but guaranteed to win multiple medals. The country had captured all but four of the 24 previous Olympic gold medals in table tennis since its debut at the Summer Games in 1988.
"We are the same level," Li said of her match with Ding, "but today I performed better than I expected."
Feng Tianwei of Singapore swept Japan's Kasumi Ishikawa in four games to win the bronze medal.
On the men's side, the No. 1 seed Zhang Jike moved into the semifinals with a 4-1 win over Jiang Tianyi of Hong Kong. No. 2 seed Wang Hao, also of China, beat Seiya Kishikawa of Japan to reach the semis.
08/01 12:33:03 ET