The 2018 Asian Games are just around the corner. For the first time in more than
fifty years, the pan-Asian games will be held in Indonesia. Jakarta and Palembang
have been chosen as the co-hosts of the multi-sport tournament, which in itself is a
Athletes will take part in over forty sports over the next fifteen days, in a bid to prove
who is the best in Asia.
Racquet sports combined make up a strong category for such multi-sport games.
They provide excellent entertainment while delivering some memorable moments.
Table Tennis, Badminton, and Tennis usually make up the category with Squash
also being on the roster on some occasions.
Talking about Table Tennis, the fast-paced miniature racquet sport has been around
ever since the third edition of the Asian Games began, which took place in 1958.
Ever since its inclusion, the sport was omitted from the roster only on one occasion
And so, before the commencement of Table Tennis at the 2018 Asian Games, we
take a look at what has already transpired regarding the fast-paced racquet sport.
So far, Table Tennis has found its way on the official roster of the Asian Games
fourteen times. Examining those fourteen occasions one would find that a single
nation has been extremely dominant over the years.
That nation is China. India's neighbours to the North, China has been the best nation
in Table Tennis at Asian Games a total of Eleven times. They have been declared
the best nation on eleven straight occasions, as well, from 1974 to 2014. China's
closest competitors are Japan, who have been the best nation on just Three
occasions (1958, 1962, 1966).
Overall medal table (Table Tennis at the Asian Games; Wikipedia)
In total, the Chinese paddlers have brought home a staggering One Hundred and
Twenty-One medals, Sixty of which are Gold. In comparison, second-placed Japan
have won Eighty medals over fourteen editions. India, meanwhile, are yet to open
Historical Records for Table Tennis at Asian Games
The first ever Table Tennis medals at the Asian Games in 1958 were won by the
paddlers of Republic of China, South Vietnam, and Japan. Lei Kuo Ting of ROC was
the first ever Gold medallist in the Men's Singles category, while Taeko Namba won
the same prize in the women's Singles category.
South Vietnam took the Gold in both Men's doubles and Team events. Meanwhile,
Japan completed a hattrick of Gold as they took the ultimate prize in the doubles and
team category. Japan also took home the Gold in the Mixed Doubles category.
China and Japan continued their rivalry over the years. And when the Games first
arrived in India in 1982, it was once again those two sides who found themselves on
the podium. In the Men's, China won the Gold in Singles and Team events while
Japan took the Gold in Doubles. In Women's events, however, China completely
destroyed the competition by taking home the Gold medal in all three categories, as
well as, the Mixed Doubles.
Much more recently, at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, China took home six out of
the seven available Gold medals, failing to win in just the Mixed Doubles Category.
People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) would go on to win that won.
Ones to watch
Even though history is against them, the current Indian Table Tennis contingent is
one of the best the country has ever produced.
The Indian team won quite a few Team and Individual Medals at the 2018 Gold
Coast Commonwealth Games. There were plenty of standout performances as well,
especially from Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran.
With both the paddlers in great form, along with a contingent made up of several
great paddlers, India will surely be hoping that is the year they break their duck.
However, they will have to be wary of the Asian challenge, with teams such as China
and Japan coming into the fold.