by Simon Daish
For those of you Table Tennis fans who like your facts, here are some important numbers from previous Olympic Games to think about:
2012 – China won all four available gold medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games. It also won all four gold medals in 1996, 2000 and 2008.
1988 – Table tennis made its debut at Seoul 1988 and has been present ever since.
24 – China has won 24 out of a possible 28 gold medals in table tennis. Republic of Korea (3) and Sweden (1) have claimed the other four.
19 – Deng Yaping (China) is the youngest gold medallist in a singles event. She won women’s singles at Barcelona 1992 at the age of 19 years and 182 days.
7 – Jorgen Persson (Sweden), Jean-Michel Saive (Belgium) and Zoran Primorac (Croatia) competed at all seven Olympic table tennis tournaments between 1988 and 2012.
4 – Three players have won a record four gold medals in table tennis: Deng, Wang Nan (China), and Zhang Yining (China).
3 – Wang Hao (China) lost the men’s singles final at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games. He has now retired from international competition.
2 – Chen Jing (Taipei, silver at Atlanta 1996) and Kim Hyang Mi (Korea DPR, silver at Athens 2004) are the only two non-Chinese athletes to have reached the women’s singles final.
1 – The number of gold medals won by non-Asian NOCs in table tennis. Jan-Ove Waldner (Sweden) won men’s singles in 1992.
0 – No athlete has managed to win the men’s singles more than once.
Statistics provided by Gracenote Sports.