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Tokyo Olympics table tennis in review: China grows gold collection

Tokyo Olympics table tennis in review: China grows gold collection
Posted at 11:06 PM, Aug 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-08 02:00:57-04

It's tempting to just type two words -- 'Probably China' -- and call it a day when it comes to predicting, reviewing, or unwinding table tennis at the Olympics.

Consider that since the sport debuted in 1988, China has done the following:

  • 1988: 5 of 12 medals (2-of-4 possible gold)
  • 1992: 6 of 16 medals (3-of-4 possible gold)
  • 1996: 8 of 12 medals (4-of-4 possible gold)
  • 2000: 8 of 12 medals (4-of-4 possible gold)
  • 2004: 6 of 12 medals (3-of-4 possible gold)
  • 2008: 8 of 12 medals (4-of-4 possible gold)
  • 2012: 6 of 12 medals (4-of-4 possible gold)
  • 2016: 6 of 12 medals (4-of-4 possible gold)
  • 2020: 7 of 15 medals (4-of-5 possible gold)

That is astounding stuff. China has won 32 table tennis gold medals out of a possible 37.

The one that got away

So let's start with the outlier, as Japan won mixed doubles behind Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito, winners of three other medals on home soil.

China won the first two sets in the best-of-seven series but watched Mizutani and Ito take the next three before rallying to force a seventh set.

The Japanese medalists claimed the last set 11-6 to stop the golds from leaving the country.

SEE MORE: Table Tennis 101: Olympic history

Back to business

The rest of the golds and two of the silvers went to China.

That's right -- China claimed 1-2 status in women's and men's individual, and perhaps they'd like to know whether they could've entered second men's and women's trios in the team events to measure their depth against the best of the world.

Fan Xingdong, Xu Xin, Sun Yingsha, Chen Ming, and Ma Long all won multiple medals, while Liu Shiwen and Wang Manyu won one each.

Germany's Dimitrij Ovtcharov also won two medals, while Chinese-Taipei and Hong Kong were the other teams to claim medals.

2020 Olympics table tennis medal table

1. China (7) -- 4 gold, 3 silver

2. Japan (4) -- 1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze

3. Germany (2) -- 1 silver, 1 bronze

t-4. Chinese Taipei -- 1 bronze
Hong Kong -- 1 bronze

 

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