May 20 - Reigning world and Olympic champion Zhang Jike of China silenced his critics with a stunning win over his compatriot Wang Hao in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Table Tennis Championships at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, earning him his third major title in succession.
Zhang has come under scrutiny for his erratic form since his men's singles final win over Wang at London 2012, but the current world number four showed that he still has what it takes to perform on the big stage, beating his team-mate 4-2.
But the 25-year-old played down his victory, claiming luck and youth had a great impact on his win.
"I was just more lucky than Wang Hao today, and being younger helped as well," he said.
"I am very happy to win my second World Championship title in front of such a fantastic, big crowd here in Paris."
The double-world champion displayed a rare show of emotion as he ran through the crowd to celebrate with his family, who he had allowed an even rarer opportunity to see him in action in a vital match.
"This was the first time I have let my family come watch me in a big match," he said.
"So when I won, I wanted to share the moment with them."
And with time on his side, Zhang confirmed that he would be taking part at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, as well as aiming to maintain his championship-winning form.
"I will try to make history," he said.
"I have won all the titles already and I want to do it again,"
The 29-year-old runner-up Wang was left pondering his future in the game after being run ragged by his younger opponent's tenacious energy.
"I am not too disappointed losing the final," he said.
"I am getting old, so I am not sure how much longer I can keep on playing, so playing in these big matches is a thrill for me."
There was more gold for China in the women's doubles as Olympic champion Li Xiaoxia, fresh from her women's singled final victory over world number one Ding Ning, took victory over her rival Ding once more with Guo Yue as they saw off the top ranked women's player and her partner Liu Shiwen.
"In the first game we had many problems, we didn't play at all well; then we found a rhythm to our play," said Li.
"Winning today for the third time was special, so I must thank everyone who has helped me, my coaches, my colleagues, everyone."
Guo added: "Li Xiaoxia helped me a great deal today, she played much better than me; we communicated well."
"I'm really happy to win and happy that all four semi-finalists in the women's singles event were from China."
The 2013 World Championships have been a huge success for the ITTF, proving to be the biggest and best-covered tournament outside of the Olympic Games.
This year's event has enjoyed the highest number of entries for an individual championships with 801, the highest amount of nations competing with 127 and the widest distribution of TV for a table tennis event outside of the Olympic Games.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
May 2013: Taiwan make history by claiming men's doubles title at World Table Tennis Championships
May 2013: North Korea make history with mixed doubles title win over arch rivals at World Table Tennis Championships
May 2013: Olympic champion prevails in clash of Chinese titans at World Table Tennis Championships
May 2013: Korea United at World Table Tennis Championships
May 2013: Chinese legend crashes out at final World Table Tennis Championships appearance