The London Olympic Games will have a new rule on the number of participants for the Singles event. Before, each NOC could have three but now, it is reduced to two.
Since the entry of Table Tennis in the Olympics in 1988 Seoul Olympics, the Chinese army has dominated the medals with 20 gold medals from a total of 24. Apart from the Beijing Olympics, China has swept the gold medals in Atlanta and Sydney as well. They also have a good number of silvers and bronzes.
"There are no weak links in the Chinese Team. Even if you take away all their main players, they will still be powerful. They will still get the gold and silver medals." Sharara said in an interview.
As time passes by, there were a number of rules that have been changed and one of them is the reduction of Singles participants per NOC.
ITTF President Sharara has once defended their moves and that the goal of the new rule is to inspire other countries to compete for the gold medal, thus contributing to the improvement of the overall level of table tennis.
However Sharara is also aware that the Chinese Team will feel somehow "unfortunate" because of their new system.
"Because China has the world's best Table Tennis players, they are now only allowed to send just two Singles players. However, for other countries, this is an opportunity. Their chances of winning a medal is now greatly increased. It will certainly stimulate their enthusiasm and desire to fight."
Even the Beijing Olympic Men Singles champion Ma Lin was not selected for the London Olympics. This just shows the degree of strength the Chinese Team has. In the latest world rankings, the top four spots are occupied by the Chinese Zhang Jike, Ma Long, Xu Xin and Wang Hao.
Although the London Olympics will be a gathering of the world's strongest players, and new rules have been implemented, do you think the results will be different as usual?
Photo source: news.asiaone.com