The International Table Tennis Federation announced teams qualified for the Olympics just a day after the Final World Olympic Qualification Tournament. In the men event Australia, Brazil, China, Canada, Brazil and Egypt are qualified for being the champions in their respective continents. The other qualifiers are Austria, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, DPR Korea, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Sweden and the host nation Great Britain.
In the women event continetal qualifiers are Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Germany and the United State of America. The list is completed by DPR Korea, Japan, Austria, Korea, Netherlansds, Poland, Singapore, Spain and the host nation Great Britain. However, all the teams are subjected to their respective National Olympic Committees's confirmation.
Doubtless, favorites for the title are China in the men and women event but both teams have suffered changes in their squad in the last four years. Ma Lin, Wang Liqin and Wang Hao was part of the team that stood victorious in Beijing 2008 but now just the latter stays for London. Ma Lin and Wang Liqin had to give a step aside for the new generation led by Ma Long and Zhang Jike. Liu Guoliang trusts that both players are mature enough to face this Olympics.
However, the situation is different in the women team. Wang Nan, Zhang Yining and Guo Yue crowned Olympic team champion. After that Wang Nan announced her retirement, while Zhang Yining did it two years later. Therefore, Li Xiaoxia, Guo Yue and Guo Yan became the strongest players, and Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen arrived to reinforce the squad. However, solid performance showed by Ding Ning during the last months allowed her to be nominated to the Olympics together with Li Xiaoxia and Guo Yue, who have experience in this event.
Photo and info. source: en.beijing2008.cn - ittf.com