London Spy

Sport guide: Table tennis

London Spy

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OVERVIEW:

The 2012 table tennis programme will feature men's and women's singles events, as well as team competitions, but there will be no doubles tournaments. They were dropped after 2004.

The sport became part of the schedule in 1988, when China and hosts South Korea each won two gold medals.

Since then the Chinese have dominated, achieving a clean sweep of gold medals in 1996, 2000 and 2008. The Beijing Games also saw China claim all three medals in the men's and women's singles, the first time a nation had swept the board in one competition since China's women's singles success in 1988.

In 1996 Deng Yaping became the first player to win four gold medals for table tennis with her second successive singles and doubles victories. Her achievement has since been matched by Wang Nan - who has picked up four golds and a silver from the last three Games, missing out on a medal only in the 2004 women's singles - and by Zhang Yining, winner of singles and doubles gold in 2004, plus singles and team gold four years ago.

After their early success South Korea have managed only one more gold medal for table tennis, with Yu Seung-Min victorious in the men's singles in 2004.

European success has been limited as well, but Sweden and France pulled off a shock in the men's singles in 1992, with Jan-Ove Waldner beating Jean-Philippe Gatien in the final.

EVENTS / FAVOURITES / FORMAT:
MEN'S SINGLES:
1. Wang Hao (China)
2. Zhang Jike (China)
3. Timo Boll (Germany)
4. Jun Mizutani (Japan)
5. Vladimir Samsonov (Belarus)
6. Joo Se-Hyuk (Korea)
7. Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Germany)
8. Chuan Chih-Yuan (Chinese Taipei)
WOMEN'S SINGLES
1. Ding Ning (China)
2. Li Xiaoxia (China)
3. Feng Tianwei (Singapore)
4. Wang Yue Gu (Singapore)
5. Kim Kyung-Ah (Korea)
6. Tie Yana (Hong Kong, China)
7. Ai Fukuhara (Japan)
8. Jiang Huajun (Hong Kong, China)
MEN'S TEAM
1 China
2 Germany
3 Korea
4 Japan
5 Austria
6 Hong Kong
7 Chinese Taipei
8 Sweden
WOMEN'S TEAM
1 China
2 Singapore
3 Japan
4 Korea
5 Hong Kong
6 Germany
7 Netherlands
8 Romania

All competitions will be conducted on a knockout basis, with the singles draw seeded according to the ITTF World Rankings. Singles matches will be played over the best of seven games, with the winner being the first to reach 11 points by a margin of at least two.

There are 16 teams and matches will comprise four singles events and one doubles match, each played over the best of five games.

ALL-TIME MEDAL TABLE:

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SCHEDULE:

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