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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

China Thwarts Taiwan's First Gold Aspirations

ATLANTA -- China's world table-tennis champion Deng Yaping denied Taiwan its first Olympic gold medal, beating Chinese defector Chen Jing in a victory she said she owed to the Communist Party.


"We have been preparing for this Olympics for a long time, and we knew that Chen Jing would be our biggest opponent," said Deng on Wednesday after winning the hard-fought women's singles final 21-14, 21-17, 20-22, 17-21, 21-5.


Chen won the 1988 Olympic gold for China before defecting to play for Beijing's arch-foes in Taiwan, a move that saw her labeled a turncoat by official Chinese media.


The crowd roared for every point in the match and officials intervened to stop Taiwan supporters from waving their government's flag.


Beijing has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since their 1949 civil war and only takes part in Olympic competition on condition that Taiwanese teams are identified as "Chinese Taipei" rather than by their government's official name, the Republic of China.


One Taiwanese fan who refused to roll up his flag was handcuffed and escorted from the hall by police, stopping play for about five minutes in full view of International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch who watched the match and presented the medals.


Competition officials later said privately the committee did not have a policy governing the type of flags that fans could wave.


The loss was a bitter blow to Taiwan, where the state-run Central News Agency had called the match "the hope for the Republic of China to win its first gold."