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Table tennis doubles faces Olympics axe

Julian Linden in Athens | August 23, 2004 19:56 IST

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) wants to drop the doubles from the next Olympics in Beijing and stop China from winning so many medals.

ITTF president Adham Sharara said the federation plans to replace the pairs in Beijing with a team event.

"We have submitted an official proposal to the IOC regarding changes to be made," Sharara said.

"A decision is expected in 2005 and we are optimistic that it will be a positive one, provided the number of players and judges doesn't change."

China has won 11 of the 12 golds medals decided at the last three Olympics, including Athens, but there are concerns their domination is unhealthy for the sport.

The Chinese invariably win two medals in most events so a new rule was introduced in Athens to prevent players from the same country meeting in the final.

Under the proposed rule change for Beijing, China's medal count will be reduced because countries will only be allowed to enter one team.

Sharara denied the changes were designed to stop China from winning but conceded countries needed to catch up to them.

"All the changes were made in order to render table tennis more attractive and more modern," he said.

"These changes were made to make the sport more attractive.

"Of course, whenever you make changes the best players are the ones who are affected the most.

"So this means that the changes will affect the Chinese but as you can see they are still winning....and things are only going to change when other countries do as much preparation, training and infrastructure works as the Chinese do."

Athens 2004: The Complete Coverage

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Number of User Comments: 4

Sub: Better yet, let's ban the darned Chinese...

The Chinese domination of TT is commendable rather than bothersome. Other nations should strive to duplicate the Chinese model. 11 out 12 golds in the ...

Posted by Bragadeesh Srinivasan

Sub: Very easy way to say ur country men r not upto the mark

Well if china r winning atleast 2 medals in every sport it only shows their sheer dominance in the game. all this has not come ...

Posted by Arvind

Sub: Any changes in swimming

Are there any changes in swimming where US & Aus win tons of medals ?? ofcourse not because they are developed & white skinned countries.. ...

Posted by Srinath

Sub: Rotten politics

Why is it bad if China wins all the medals? If the best players are from China, then they deserve to win the medals. If ...

Posted by Abhijeet Samudra


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