At the end of a semi-final in which he was pushed to its limits, Ma Long advanced to the final on Thursday.
The Chinese was still taken until the seventh set by the German Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
The two table tennis players gave us an exceptional point in the last round.
No less than 27 (very) high intensity exchanges to separate Ma Long and Ovtcharov.
It was ultimately the German who won this precious point, pushing the Chinese to the fault, which allowed him to pick up to 5-4 in this seventh set.
The full Olympic program
The Olympic medal table
Ma Long, Olympic champion only title, ended up taking the measure of his opponent by removing the decisive set 11-9.
In the final, he will face his compatriot Fan Zhendong, world number 1 this Friday, in an attempt to win a second consecutive gold medal.
Dimitrij Ovtcharov will be opposed to Lin Yun-ju, the Taiwanese, for the bronze medal.