Tournaments

01 Mar 2020

The date is edging ever closer, the teams are known but how did they make their way to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?

Play commences in the table tennis events in the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Saturday 25th July.

by Kabir Nagpal

A total of 16 teams compete in Tokyo; six gained places by qualifying at continental competitions – Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, Oceania – a further nine by taking part in Gondomar, Portugal at the ITTF World Team Qualification tournament from Wednesday 22nd to Sunday 26th January.

The one further place is allocated to the host nation Japan.

Egypt

Continent – 2019 African Games
Rabat: 20th – 29th February

Represented by Dina Meshref, Yousra Helmy and Farah Abdel-Aziz, Egypt recorded a 3-2 win against Nigeria’s Cecilia Akpan, Offiong Edem and Olufunke Oshonaike to secure their Tokyo place. Star of the show was Dina Meshref, she remained unbeaten throughout.

China

Continent – 2019 ITTF Asian Championships
Yogyakarta: 15th – 22nd September

Never in danger throughout the tournament; at the final hurdle selecting Chen Meng, Liu Shiwen and Sun Yingsha, the Chinese trio recorded a 3-0 win against the Japanese selection formed by Miu Hirano, Kasumi Ishikawa and Hitomi Sato.

Germany

Continent – 2019 European Games
Minsk: 22nd – 29th June

Lining up alongside Han Ying and Shan Xiaona, Nina Mittelham replaced the unwell Petrissa Solja in the German team for the final against the Romanian trio comprising Daniela Monteiro-Dodean, Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs. A 3-0 result was the outcome.

Germany (left to right) Shan Xiaona, Petrissa Solja, Nina Mittelham, Han Ying (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Australia

Continent – 2019 Oceania Team Qualification
Victoria: 6th December

An imposing display at the Oceania Team Qualification; Australia’s Michelle Bromley, Jian Fang Lay and Melissa Tapper recorded a 3-0 win against Fiji’s Carolyn Li, Grace Rosi Yee & Sally Yee. Australia has represented Oceania at the Olympic Games ever since the team events were introduced in 2008 in Beijing. It will be a sixth Olympic Games for Jian Fang Lay!

Brazil

Continent – 2019 Latin America Team Qualification 
Lima: 25th – 27th October

At the 2019 Latin America Team Qualification tournament, Brazil needed to be at their best to secure their places Tokyo 2020. Brazil represented by Bruna Takahashi, Caroline Kumahara and Jessica Yamada posted a 3-0 win against Puerto Rico’s Melanie Diaz, Adriana Diaz and Daniely Rios to secure their place in Tokyo.  It will be an eighth consecutive Olympic Games appearance for the coach, Hugo Hoyama.

United States

Continent – 2019 ITTF North American Team Qualification
Illinois: 5th October, 2019

Held in Rockford, Illinois, the United States were always favourites. Selecting Lily Zhang, Wu Yue and Liu Juan, they recorded a 3-0 win in the final against the Canadian outfit of Sophie Gauthier, Isabelle Xiong and Benita Zhou in the final.

The successful United States team (Photo: courtesy of Table Tennis USA)
Hong Kong China

World Qualification – 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament
Gondomar: 22nd – 26th January

Facing Belarus as the final hurdle, Hong Kong China’s Lee Ho Ching, Doo Hoi Kem and Minnie Soo Wai Yam prevailed against Daria Trigolos, Nadezhda Bogdanova and Viktoria Pavlovich. A 3-0 win was the end result.

Austria

World Qualification – 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification
Gondomar: 22nd – 26th January

Austria selecting Liu Jia, Liu Yuan and Sofia Polcanova were in imperious form, guiding their country to an appearance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. In the decisive contest against the Spanish outfit comprising Ana Garcia, Zhang Sofia-Xuan and Maria Xiao, they recorded a 3-1 win.

Poland

World Qualification – 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament
Gondomar: 22nd – 26th January

Poland maintained their record of having qualified for the women’s event at every Olympic Games since the competition was introduced in 2008 in Beijing. In the decisive contest they overcame the Ukraine squad of Margaryta Pesotska, Ganna Gaponova and Tetyana Bilenko. A 3-1 win was the order of the day. Natalia Partyka now qualifies for both the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games for an unprecedented fourth consecutive occasion.

DPR Korea

World Qualification – 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament
Gondomar: 22nd – 26th January

One of the early teams to secure tickets to Tokyo in Gondomar was the DPR Korea outfit formed by Kim Song I, Kim Nam Hae and Cha Hyo Sim. They beat Korea Republic’s team of Choi Hyojoo, Suh Hyowon and Shin Yubin 3-1 in the crucial round.

Team DPR Korea were delighted to win! (Photo by Remy Gros)
Singapore

World Qualification – 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament
Gondomar: 22nd – 26th January

Recording a 3-2 win over the Netherlands team of Britt Eerland, Li Jie and Li Jiao;  Feng Tianwei, Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu were the architects of the Tokyo reservation. Singapore has been ever present in the women’s team event at the Olympic Games. They were silver medallists in Beijing in 2008, bronze medallists in 2012 in London.

Hungary

World Qualification – 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament
Gondomar: 22nd – 26th January

Beating the hosts is never easy; that is exactly what Hungary did against Portugal in Gondomar to successfully reach the Olympic Games. Despite being without their top player Georgina Pota, a star performance from Dora Madarasz followed by Maria Fazekas and Szandra Pergel against Shao Jieni, Luo Xue and Yu Fu meant a real upset was in order when they recorded the 3-1 win.

Romania

World Qualification – 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament
Gondomar: 22nd – 26th January

The the 2009 and 2012 European champions, Romania’s Elizabeta Samara and Daniela Dodean alongside Bernadette Szocs were made to dig deep by the Indian outfit made of Manika Batra, Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee in Gondomar. Eventually, experience and class of the European squad persisted, as they won a five-match thriller 3-2 to achieve yet another showing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

A relief for Team Romania (Photo by Rémy Gros )
Chinese Taipei

World Qualification – 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament
Gondomar: 22nd – 26th January

Cheng I-Ching was the commander in chief of the campaign in Portugal for Team Chinese Taipei. Cheng Hsien-Tzu and Chen Szu-Yu were the supports acts in a 3-0 win against the French team comprising Stéphanie Leouillete, Marie Migot and Yuan Jia Nan

Korea Republic

World Qualification – 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament
Gondomar: 22nd – 26th January

Korea Republic claimed the last remaining place in for Tokyo 2020. Selecting 15 year old Shin Yubin alongside Choi Hyojoo and Lee Eunhye; they recorded a 3-1 win against the French outfit comprising Stéphanie Leouillete, Marie Migot and Yuan Jia Nan.

Japan

Host Qualification

Hosts of the Olympic Games 2020, Japan will be looking to make the support of their fans count in more than one way. The women’s team comprises of the top elite athletes in the sport in the guise of Kasumi Ishikawa, Miu Hirano, Mima Ito, Saki Shibata amongst others. In London they were silver medallists, in Rio de Janeiro the colour was bronze.

In Depth Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
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