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31 table tennis teams confirmed for Tokyo Olympics

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) says 16 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have confirmed their men’s teams and 15 NOCs their women’s teams for participation in the upcoming Tokyo Games.

In a statement on Thursday, the ITTF also said 93 players in total were set to contest in the rescheduled 2020 Olympic Games.

Europe has the largest representation in the men’s team event, featuring Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Sweden, France, Portugal, and Serbia.

Asia has China, Japan, South Korea, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong of China contending for Olympic glory.

Egypt, Brazil, the U.S, and Australia will represent Africa, Latin America, North America, and Oceania respectively during the Games.

In the women’s event, Asia will be represented by China, Japan, Hong Kong of China, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, and South Korea.

The hopes of European teams for a medal will be hinged on Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, and Romania.

Egypt, the U.S, Brazil, and Australia will represent Africa, North America, Latin America, and Oceania respectively.

Each NOC can nominate three athletes per qualified team, with two athletes permitted to compete in the singles event.

ITTF said participating teams for mixed doubles and singles events would be announced in June.

Grand Slam winner Ma Long leads the Chinese men’s team, along with world number one Fan Zhendong and doubles specialist Xu Xin.

China’s women’s team features top-placed Chen Meng, Sun Yingsha, and reigning singles world champion Liu Shiwen.

Women’s world number two Mima Ito and men’s world number four Tomokazu Harimoto spearhead the host nation’s charge on home soil.

After winning the silver medal at Beijing 2008 and the bronze medals at London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016, the German men’s team has something to look forward to.

They will be relying on 40-year-old veteran Timo Boll.

Table tennis became an official Olympic medal sport at Seoul 1988.

Chinese paddlers have dominated the sport, winning 28 of 32 gold medals up to Rio 2016.

The Tokyo Games will be staged from July 23 to Aug. 8, with table tennis competitions set to hold at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium from July 24 to Aug. 6

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