Create

Tomokazu Harimoto, Mima Ito spearhead Japanese challenge as ITTF releases Tokyo Olympics teams 

17-year-old Tomokazu Harimoto will make his Games debut at the Tokyo Olympics
17-year-old Tomokazu Harimoto will make his Games debut at the Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics will see World No. 2 Mima Ito and World No. 4 Tomokazu Harimoto spearheading the home challenge as the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) announced the final list of squads on Friday.

16 men’s and 15 women’s teams will participate in the Tokyo Olympics, which starts on July 23. A total of 93 paddlers will be in action in the Games, which was originally scheduled for 2020.

Europe will have the largest representation in the men’s team event at the Tokyo Olympics, with Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Sweden, France, Portugal and Serbia vying for the top honors. Asia, meanwhile, will be represented by China, Japan, the Korean Republic, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong.

In the women's segment, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Chinese Taipei and the Korea Republic will represent Asia while European medal hopes will lie on Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary and Romania.

Since the inception of the team events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Japan has never won a gold medal at the Summer Games. While the men’s team's only silver came at the 2016 Rio Games, the women have been on the podium twice in 2012 (silver) and 2016 (bronze).

Both Ito and Harimoto enjoyed success at the WTT Contender Series in Doha earlier this year and will be the ones to watch out for. With China being represented by just a solitary team, Harimoto believes it gives them a great chance to top the podium at the Tokyo Olympics.

“It has always been my childhood dream to play at the Olympic Games. In the team event, there is only one team of Chinese players, so the chance of winning a medal is higher than in the singles events. I hope to join forces with the other two members, as well as the head coach and reserve player to fight,” Harimoto recently said in an interview.

Hugo Calderano aims to break Chinese dominance at Tokyo Olympics

Meanwhile, Brazil’s Hugo Calderano will be aiming to break the Chinese dominance in the Olympics. Calderano was a part of the Brazilian squad that competed in the men’s team event at the 2016 Rio Olympics and is also the first from the continent to break into world’s top 10 in men’s singles.

“My focus is to get a medal at the Tokyo Olympic. My biggest goal and what I practise for is to beat the Chinese players in big events, like the Olympics, where they’ve won the most part of the medals in history,” the 24-year-old recently said.

Timo Boll to lead German charge at Tokyo Olympics

Meanwhile, veteran 40-year-old Timo Boll will lead the German charge. With silver (2008) and bronze (2012, 2016) medals, Germany will aim for gold at the Tokyo Olympics and there is no paddler better than Boll to spearhead the attack. Incidentally, Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov were a part of all three medal-winning teams.

The full list of men's and women's table tennis teams at Tokyo Olympics

Men

Egypt - Omar Assar, Ahmed Saleh, Khalid Assar

China - Ma Long, Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin

Japan - Tomokazu Harimoto, Koki Niwa, Jun Mizutani

Korea Republic - Youngsik Jeong, Woojin Jang, Sangsu Lee

Chinese Taipei - Lin Yun-Ju, Chuang Chih-Yuan, Chen Chien-An

Hong Kong - Wong Chun Ting, Lam Siu Hang, Ho Kwan Kit

Germany - Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Timo Boll, Patrick Franziska

Slovenia - Jorgic Darko, Tokic Bojan, Kozul Deni

Croatia - Andrej Gacina, Tomislav Pucar, Frane Kojic

Sweden - Mattias Falck, Anton Kallberg, Kristian Karlsson

France - Simon Gauzy, Emmanuel Lebesson, Alexandre Cassin

Portugal - Marcos Freitas, Tiago Apolonia, Joao Monteiro

Serbia - Aleksandar Karakasevic, Zsolt Peto, Marko Jevtovic

Brazil - Hugo Calderano, Gustavo Tsuboi, Vitor Ishiy

USA - Kanak Jha, Nikhil Kumar, Zhou Xin

Australia - David Powell, Yan Xin, TBC

Women

China - Chen Meng, Sun Yingsha, Liu Shiwen

Japan - Mima Ito, Kasumi Ishikawa, Miu Hirano

Hong Kong - Doo Hoi Kem, Soo Wai Yam Minnie, Lee Ho Ching

Singapore - Feng Tianwei, Yu Mengyu, Lin Ye

Chinese Taipei - Cheng I-Ching, Chen Szu-Yu, Cheng Hsien-Tzu

Korea Republic - Jeon Ji-hee, Shin Yubin, Choi Hyojoo

Germany - Petrissa Solja, Han Ying, Shan Xiaona

Austria - Sofia Polcanova, Liu Jia, Liu Yuan

Poland - Li Qian, Natalia Partyka, Natalia Bajor

Hungary - Dora Madarasz, Georgina Pota, Szandra Pergel

Romania - Elizabeta Samara, Bernadette Szocs, Daniela Dodean Monteiro

Egypt - Dina Meshref, Yousra Helmy, Farah Abdel-Aziz

USA - Lily Zhang, Liu Juan, Wang Huijing

Brazil - Bruna Takahashi, Jessica Yamada, Caroline Kumahara

Australia - Michelle Bromley, Stephanie Sang, TBC

Quick Links

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
Be the first one to comment