Japan overpowered South Korea 3-1 in the men's team table tennis event to capture a bronze medal at the Tokyo Games on Friday.
Jun Mizutani, Tomokazu Harimoto and Koki Niwa bounced back from Wednesday's semifinal defeat to Germany, beating Jang Woo Jin, Lee Sang Su and Jeoung Young Sik at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium to end the host nation's table tennis campaign on a winning note.
"I still can't believe it," said Mizutani. "I didn't play that well but my will to win got me through in the end. I've been blessed with great teammates and we have delivered a fantastic result."
The bronze was Japan's second consecutive Olympic medal in the men's team event following the silver it won at the 2016 Rio Games.
Tokyo Games mixed doubles champion Mizutani and Niwa put Japan on the road to victory by taking out Lee and Jeoung 11-9, 8-11, 15-13, 11-5.
World No. 4 Harimoto, who won both of his singles games in the semis, overcame Jang 11-7, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7 on Friday but Niwa, who has been a weak link at these games, missed the chance to complete a sweep when he lost 11-3, 11-8, 11-7 to Jeoung.
Niwa said he did it tough, but got some help from his veteran teammate.
"Whatever kind of mistakes I made, Mizutani-san sold me to go on the offensive and I got better as the game went on," he said.
Four-time Olympian Mizutani made sure of victory against Jang in the third singles match, outplaying the 25-year-old 14-12, 11-9, 11-8.
"I knew Mizutani-san would get the job done for us at the end," said Olympic debutant Harimoto. "This is my first medal and I feel like I am finally at the starting line on the world stage."