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Table tennis teams confirmed for Tokyo Olympics

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-05-20 15:23
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BEIJING - The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) said on Thursday that 16 National Olympic Committees (NOC) have confirmed their men's table tennis teams and 15 NOCs for women's event of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, with 93 players in total set to contest in the rescheduled Games.

Europe has the largest representation in the men's team event, featuring Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Sweden, France, Portugal, and Serbia.

Asia has China, Japan, South Korea, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong of China contending for Olympic glory. Egypt, Brazil, the United States, and Australia will represent Africa, Latin America, North America, and Oceania respectively during the Games.

In the women's event, Asia will be represented by China, Japan, Hong Kong of China, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, and South Korea. The hopes of European teams for a medal will be hinged on Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, and Romania. Egypt, the US, Brazil, and Australia will represent Africa, North America, Latin America, and Oceania respectively.

Each NOC can nominate three athletes per qualified team, with two athletes permitted to compete in the singles event. The line-up for mixed doubles and singles events will be announced in June.

Grand Slam winner Ma Long leads the Chinese men's team, along with world No 1 Fan Zhendong and doubles specialist Xu Xin.

China's women's team features top-placed Chen Meng, Sun Yingsha, and reigning singles world champion Liu Shiwen.

Women's world number two Mima Ito and men's world No. 4 Tomokazu Harimoto spearhead the host nation's charge on home soil.

After winning the silver medal in Beijing in 2008 and the bronze medals at the London and Rio de Janeiro Games in 2012 and 2016, the German men's team will rely on 40-year-old veteran Timo Boll.

Table tennis became an official Olympic medal sport at Seoul 1988. Chinese paddlers have dominated the sport, winning 28 of 32 gold medals up to Rio 2016.

The Tokyo Olympic Games will be staged from July 23 to August 8, with table tennis competitions set to take place at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium from July 24 to August 6.

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