Monday, July 25, 2016

Why China Will Dominate Table Tennis Sport at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics

Team China has been dominating the table tennis sport events since they first featured in a modern Summer Olympics edition in 1988. With the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics with us, we expect Team China to continue with their dominance in Table Tennis for both men and women. Table Tennis at the Rio Games will take place from the 6th of August to the 17th of August. These events will take place at Riocentro, Pavilion 3; a magnificent 23,000 square meters venue at the Barra Da Tijuca clusters. Based on the previous history, China will dominate as usual.

China has dominated the sport with an overall total of 24 gold. The other only nation to have won gold medals for Table Tennis at the Summer Olympics is South Korea; they have managed only 3 gold medals since 1988; when table tennis made its debut at the Olympics. Europe’s Sweden has won one gold medal.

Such is the dominance of China that the IOC from 2012 ensured no country will have more than 2 participants in each of the table tennis events; the initial format was 3 competitors making it easy for one nation to take home all the 3 medals in each of the events. Other measures to reduce China dominance have been to substitute some of the double events to team events as has been the case since Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. Despite these measures, China still dominates and I presume it will at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

China has been so dominant since 1988 that it has only missed gold medals for four events. These events are: - men singles, gold medal at the 1988 games that went to host’s Yoo Nam-Kyu, men singles at the Barcelona’s 1992 Summer Olympics that went to Swedish Jan-Ove Waldner and men’s single at the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics that went to South Korea’s Ryu Seung-Min. Another loss area for Team China was in Seoul’s 1988 Table tennis women doubles where the gold medal went to South Korea duo; Hyun Jung-Hwa and Yang Young-Ja. As a matter of fact, China has red washed the world in all the editions of the Summer Olympics that Table Tennis has featured. This a picture of Jan-Ove Waldner, Barcelona Summer Olympics Men Singles Table Tennis Gold Medalist from Sweden

This picture is from Wikipedia

Summer Olympics, table tennis player who have managed to win gold medals despite China’s dominance are:- Yoo Nam-Kyu who beat fellow South Korean’s Kim Ki-Taik and Sweden’s Erik Lindh to take the 1988 Summer Olympics Table Tennis Men Single’s event. In this specific event, China did not get any medal because the silver went to South Korea’s Kim and Bronze medal to Erik Lindh of Sweden.

At the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics, Sweden’s Jan-Ove Waldner lead the pack to deny China Table Tennis Men Singles medals. Jan got the gold, France’s Jean-Phillippe Gatien went home with a Silver medal while South Korea’s Kim Taek-Soo was the bronze winner

China got its act right and took home the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics Table Tennis Men Singles gold medal with a win by Liu Guoliang, fellow compatriot Wang Tao was the silver medalist and German’s Jorg Robkopt spoiled the Chinese party by taking home the event’s bronze medal. Come Sydney 2000 and China’s Kong Linghui took the men single gold medal. However, the Barcelona’s events gold medalist, Swedish Jan –Ove Waldner had to exit in style and he clenched the silver medal.

Team China to show its disappointment in Jan-Ove gate-crushing took the Bronze medal. China gold medal was won by the 1996 Atlanta’s gold medalist Liu Guoliang

The Athens 2004 games were not so good for China; South Korea came in strong and took the gold. This was won by Ryu-Seung-Min. Team China had to settle for silver and bronze which were won by Wan Hao and Wang Liqin respectively. This was the last time men singles went out of China’s hand because at the Beijing’s 2008, Table Tennis men singles 3 medals went to China.

The Athens 2004 games were not so good for China; South Korea came in strong and took the gold. This was won by Ryu-Seung-Min. Team China had to settle for silver and bronze which were won by Wan Hao and Wang Liqin respectively.

This was the last time men singles went out of China’s hand because at the Beijing’s 2008, Table Tennis men singles 3 medals went to China.

They would have repeated the clean sweep in men singles at the 2012 London Summer Olympics but the German’s Dimitris Ovtcharov stopped this from happening by winning a bronze medal, though China’s Zang Jike took the gold medal, while Wang Hao had to settle for silver medal for the second time

With Brazil’s Rio 2016 Summer Olympics Table Tennis men single almost here, will Team China dominate, will they lose the men singles gold medal or will it be a clean sweep for gold and silver medals.

Your guess is as good as mine, China may win. History has shown they may be weak at Table Tennis men singles compared to other table tennis events, but they are the kings.

China dominance has also been challenged at the Summer Olympics women’s double once at the Seoul 1988 games. In these games the host took home the gold medal and China had to settle for silver medal while former Yugoslavia took the bronze medal.

This is the only time China had to lose the gold medal in this event; they won all other gold medals for the women doubles ever since. Will do it at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics Table Tennis sport events, we can just wait.