Ever since table tennis was introduced in the Olympics in 1988, there has been only one country which has won the gold medal – China. The Asian country has enjoyed complete domination in the women’s event winning all the gold medals so far.
This time around as well, they are the favourites to claim the top prize at Rio 2016. Without much ado, let us take a look at all the gold medal winners in the table tennis women’s event:
1988 Seoul Olympics – Chen Jing
Chen Jing holds a unique place in the history of the sport as she is the first ever winner of an Olympic gold medal. The left-handed paddler overcame her compatriot Li Huifen in the final.
What makes Chen Jing special is that she came back to win the silver in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, this time representing Chinese Taipei making her the only player to win a TT Olympic medal with two different countries.
1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympics – Deng Yaping
Probably the greatest woman TT player of all time Deng Yaping created history by becoming the first TT player, male or female to win back-to-back gold medals. in 1992, she overcame another Chinese paddler Qiao Hong in the final, while in 1996, she beat the 1988 gold medal winner Chen Jing who was representing Chinese Taipei in the final.
When she retired at the age of 24, she had won more titles than any other player in this sport, including four Olympic gold medals, and had been World Champion 18 times. From 1990 to 1997, she retained the title of world No. 1 ranked female table tennis player for 8 years. She was voted Chinese female athlete of the century and joined the ITTF hall of fame in 2003.