Table tennis will be played for the majority of the total duration of the Games, and the games will be played every day between July 24 and August 6, except for a one-day break on July 31. All matches will be played on the grounds of the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. It was built in 1952, its opening took place in 1954 and it was remodeled in 1990. It hosted the gymnastics competitions of the 1964 Tokyo Games and currently has capacity for 10,000 spectators.
The players use rackets made up of a wooden plate covered with rubber on both sides and a hollow plastic ball that weighs only 2.7 grams. The sport follows the same basic principles as tennis, but has a very different scoring system. Individual matches are played to the best of seven games, with the first player to reach 11 points (with a margin of two) winning each set.
Team matches consist of four singles matches and one doubles match, each played to the best of five games. Each team consists of three players and the matches end when one team manages to win in three matches. In doubles matches, players take turns hitting the ball.
Unlike tennis, in which one player serves for a full game, in table tennis the serve changes every two points. Once the score reaches 10-10, the serve will change after each point. In doubles games, the service will alternate the same between the different players.
The individual test will be played by between 64 and 70 players in the total of the male and female modality, depending on the vacancies generated by the mixed events, with a maximum of 2 places per country. 32 players will come from the 16 countries participating in the team event and 22 players will be from the Continental Championships (they cannot belong to the countries that qualified for the team event). In both cases, with a maximum of two for each country.
There is also another criterion, which is the invitation: it will be one per gender. This will be assigned once all the vacancies generated by the mixed events are known, to reach the parity of 86 players of each sex in the total, and after knowing the final positions of the world ranking.
Medal table (Top 20)
Since table tennis joined the Olympic program in 1988, China has won 28 of the 32 gold medals. Previously, Central European countries such as Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany dominated the sport until the middle of the 20th century, times when it was not an Olympic sport.
The 32-year-old Chinese won gold at Rio 2016 twice: in singles and in men’s doubles.
It is one of the great Chinese pearls, and already with 24 years it has led the World ranking. He won six titles in 2019, with 39 wins and just seven losses, and is fully establishing himself in the elite. Those in Tokyo will be their first Games.
The 26-year-old also Chinese is the most regular player in recent times. In addition to being at the top of the individual classification. In 2019 they only suffered four defeats. He will also be at an Olympic event for the first time.
Wang Nan and Wang Hao hold the record for five metals in a Games. The Chinese, 42, has four golds and one silver, while the Chinese, 37, has two golds and three silvers. Nan, a left-handed player, was ranked number one in the world for almost four years between 1999 and 2002 while Hao’s thorn was not achieving the singles gold, falling in the 2004 and 2008 finals. Still, he is considered one of the great stars of all time in the Asian country thanks to his brilliant wrist.