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China set to face bigger threat in Tokyo
Jun 11, 2021, 4:28:00 AM

China set to face bigger threat in Tokyo

China is one of the leading teams in the coming Tokyo Games, but it seems their chances are in doubt with their table tennis stars struggling to get to their form. With a bigger contest at hand, it seems China will have a tough time winning in the coming games this year.

China is the best country in table tennis. The country has won a total of 28 of 32 gold medals at the Games. Their lead in the sport might be put to the test in Tokyo this summer with doubts coming in for the team.

There are only a few countries that stood a chance against China when it comes to table tennis. Winning every gold medal for the last three Games is a huge feat, and now it puts pressure on the rest of the team to keep the pace going at the very least.

With rivals Japan having home advantage this time, the poor form among China’s lead stars is also an alarming flaw for the team. China has to make sure their players are in top shape if they want to win big in the coming Games.

There were a series of events that led the team to ring the alarm bells earlier this month. Zhou Qihao stunned Olympic champ Ma Long and world no. 1 Fan Zhendong to win the men’s title. Zhou is ranked 122 on the world table, which is a huge blow to China’s lead stars.

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The team’s fans believe that they have to step up in their performance soon. The players’ form was up and down, which is clearly worse heading to the Games.

Mima Ito, Japan’s world no. 2 is set to be a prime threat for many to come up with a clean sweep in Tokyo. 17-year-old star Tomokazu Harimoto is also set to play in the men’s singles and can be a threat to anyone as well.

Ping Pong EIC Peng You made a huge claim, saying the biggest problem for China is not their form or even the lack of practice. He made it clear that the problem was the set standard from the fans. For some fans, winning less than all five gold medals is already a failure.

‘Most fans or so-called fans only pay attention to the result and don't know much about the details or the inside story’, Peng said. ‘Our past excellent results conceal many existing problems. Everyone thinks that the Chinese team is invincible... this is not the case’.

With China in panic, it is easy to say that there will be a problem for the team heading to the games. They have less than a month to solve their woes, so they need to hurry up and move fast.

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Words: Paul Daniel Flores

Image: PA