What Is The History Of Table Tennis In The Olympics?
When did Table Tennis Join the Olympics?
Although the first World Championships for table tennis were held all the way back in 1926, the sport did not achieve its Olympic debut until the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The Seoul Olympics had a singles and a doubles tournament for both men and women.
In 2008, the doubles tournament was replaced with a team tournament. In the team tournament, teams of three compete against each other, swapping out players as they see fit.
The first men’s winner was Yoo Nam-Kyu of South Korea, and the first women’s winner was Chen Jing, of China.
Who are the Best Table Tennis Players?
China has dominated Olympic Table Tennis since its inception, having won 28 out of the possible 32 gold medals in the event so far. Wang Nan of China is the best Table Tennis player in Olympic history. She won 4 gold medals and 1 silver medal between 2000 and 2008.
China has won every single gold medal in the team events, on both the men’s and the women’s side. Due to China’s dominance in the sport, in 2012 the qualification rules were changed to allow only 2 athletes from each country to compete in the singles tournaments. Previously, a country could have up to 3 athletes in the event, meaning that a country could win all three medals. China did just that in 2008, sweeping both the men’s and the women’s singles podium!