Day 5 Preview: Women’s medal rounds take center stage in Rio

Women's semifinal preview

Olympics: Table Tennis-Women's Singles Quarterfinals

The medal matches are already upon us in Rio with the women set to hand out silverware Wednesday evening. The semifinal matches will start at 9:00 AM ET streaming live on NBCOlympics.com.

Reigning gold medalist Li Xiaoxia of China faces Ai Fukuhara of Japan in the first semifinal of the day. While neither player has dropped a set yet in Rio, Fukuhara has required extra points twice so far in rounds four and five. Li is a co-favorite for gold in Rio and should be seen as a heavy favorite in the match.

In the other semifinal, top-seeded Ding Ning has a unique challenge as she takes on North Korea’s Kim Song-I. Ding won the silver medal at the London Games and is the other co-favorite to take home gold in Rio, having won all her contests in shutouts thus far. Kim scored a pair of high-profile upsets on her route to the semis, knocking off #4 Kasumi Ishikawa and #9 Yu Mengyu. Players from North Korea are notoriously tricky to scout, as they rarely compete outside of high-profile tournaments.

After the semifinals, the bronze medal match is slated for a 7:30 PM ET start, with the gold medal match to begin after that match concludes. You can catch both those contests streaming live on NBCOlympics.com.

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