Olympic Games table tennis events.
Which TT events are included in the Olympics? Find out here...
The Olympic Games table tennis events first started in 1988 - in Seoul, South Korea.
But did you know that in 2008, the table tennis events were changed?
The doubles events were replaced with team events and were a great success.
And in 2012, the maximum number of players per National Olympic Committee (NOC) who could take part in the singles events was reduced from three to two.
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So, let's take a look at which events are now included in the table tennis programme, how players qualify, and the format of the various events ...
Well, the table tennis competition currently consists of four events:
The team events replaced the doubles events in 2008.
The maximum number of players who can take part in the Olympic Games table tennis events are 86 men and 86 women - with not more than three men and three women from each National Olympic Committee (NOC).
Additionally, in 2012, the maximum number of players per NOC who could take part in the singles events was reduced from three to two.
The rules specify that each NOC can only have a maximum of three men and three women competing in the table tennis events.
Therefore some of the stronger nations like China have players who, despite being in the top 20 of the World Ranking list, cannot take part in the Olympic Games.
However, this means that the rivalry between the different nationalities is more intense, and provides excellent matches.
There's a complicated system of qualification for the Olympic Games table tennis events, but without getting too bogged down with the full details, here's a brief summary ...
For each of the singles events a maximum of 86 players, with not more than three players from the same NOC, can qualify.
64 players will qualify for the main draw in the Olympic Games as follows:
Any additional players who qualify will play in preliminary rounds in order to qualify for the main draw.
For the team events, 16 teams qualify for the Olympic Games table tennis as follows:
Each team will consist of three players and they must all be from the same NOC.
Each NOC is restricted to one team - but that team can include a player who is not playing in the singles event.
Let's now take a look at the...
The format for the Olympic Games table tennis events are as follows ...
The singles events follow the traditional knockout format and all matches are the best of seven games.
The top 16 seeded players automatically advance to the third round, whilst the players seeded 17-32 start in the second round.
All other players start in the first or preliminary rounds to earn the right to compete against the top 32 players.
In the team events there are a maximum of 16 teams.
Teams consist of three players each. Each team match is called a "contest" and will be the best of three out of five matches.
A contest consists of two singles, followed by one doubles, followed, if necessary, by one or two more singles until one team wins three matches.
A team may play with only two players if the third player is injured, ill or disqualified - however, they forfeit the two matches which were due to be played by that third player.
If both teams only have two players, the contest will be the best of two out of three matches. The order of play will be a singles match, followed by a doubles match, followed, if necessary by a final singles match.
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TABLE TENNIS AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES
|For more information about table tennis at the Olympic Games, take a look at my other articles...
2004 Olympic Games - Athens, Greece
2008 Olympic Games - Beijing, China
2012 Olympic Games - London, England
2016 Olympic Games - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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