By Nick Butler at the Main Media Centre in Nanjing

Fan Zhendong's world-class status told eventually as he battled to the singles title ©ITTFIn the highest calibre display of sport yet seen here at the Summer Youth Olympic Games, 17-year-old table tennis superstar Fan Zhendong battled his way to singles gold over Japan's Yuto Muramatsu in a match with deep tactical, rather than political, overtones.

While the first three days of action here has seen most medals won over a frantic early evening period, much of the action has taken place earlier today, with gold medals also decided in rugby sevens, rowing and shooting. 

Top of the bill was a table tennis final pitting Fan, the world's third ranked senior player who was part of the Chinese team who won the gold medal at the World Team Championships earlier this year, against Muramatsu, another precocious talent, ranked 42nd in the world, who reached the semi-finals of the Japan Open in June. 

While the crowd support was undoubtedly in the Chinese player's favour, with not a Japanese Flag to be seen across the Wutaishan Gymnasium, there was no danger of sport being overshadowed by the fragile political relations between the participating countries.

Instead, the focus was on an enthralling clash of styles, with the relentless attacking approach of Fan countered by the less usual defensive style of his opponents.

Retreating far back from the table and using heavy backspin to propel the ball back into play, Muramatsu style proved difficult even for a player of Fan's calibre, and there were anxious moments for the home crowd as the man from Japan fought his way into a 2-1 lead.

But Chinese table-tennis players are renowed for their fighting ability and the top-seeded player duly fought back to triumph 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 in a match that had all the hallmarks of everything the Youth Olympics aims to stand for.

It was also the second gold medal of the morning after Gaoyang Liu dispatched Doo Hoi Kim of Hong Kong by a more comfortable 4-1 margin to claim the girl's singles title.

France celebrate their victory over Argentina to claim rugby sevens glory ©Getty ImagesFrance celebrate their victory over Argentina to claim rugby sevens glory ©Getty Images

Unlike in table tennis, China has almost no history of success in the sport of rugby sevens, but the host nation also have much to celebrate in one of the newest Olympic disciplines as the girl's defeated the United States 12-0 to claim a superb bronze medal.

Gold, as expected, went to Australia as they overpowered Canada 38-10, but there was a more surprising outcome in the boy's event as France, a country whose senior rugby team are renowned for being hit and miss, turned on the Gallic flair to defeat unbeaten Argentina 45-22. 

Martin Laveau bagged two of the gold medal winner's seven tries as the match brought to a close another strong advert for a sport still on a high from the world-record crowds seen during the competition at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last month.
In another historic moment Fiji beat Kenya to win the bronze medal and claim their first ever Summer, Winter or Youth Olympic medal of any sort by a team - or individual - solely from the Pacific Island.

Swimmer Lepani Naivalu was part of the Oceania boy's medley relay team that won a bronze medal four years ago in Singapore. 

On the first day of rowing finals action, there were victories for Romania in both the boy's and girl's pairs events, while Tim Ola Naske of Germany and Krystsina Staraselets of Belarus won the respective male and female singles sculls events.

But it has been China's day so far and this was reinforced by a further triumph for Haoran Yang in the boy's 10m air rifle shooting, with the pre-competition favourite pushing Armenia's Hrachik Babayan and Hungary's Istvan Peni into the minor medal positions. 

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