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China Opts to Exclude Reigning Olympic Champion Ma Long from Paris Games Men’s Singles, Announces Representatives

Beijing, May 07, 2024, The Europe Today: In a surprising turn of events, China has opted to exclude reigning Olympic champion Ma Long from the men’s singles event at the upcoming Paris Games, instead naming world’s top-ranked players Wang Chuqin and Fan Zhendong as the country’s representatives in the fiercely contested competition.

The decision was announced on Tuesday by the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA) as they unveiled an initial Olympic roster for Paris 2024. Alongside Wang Chuqin and Fan Zhendong’s inclusion in the men’s singles, the CTTA also confirmed that the top-ranked Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha would form the sole pair representing China in the Olympic mixed doubles event.

Under the regulations of the Games, Wang Chuqin, Fan Zhendong, and Sun Yingsha are automatically enlisted in the team events, further solidifying China’s formidable presence on the global stage of table tennis.

Earlier on Tuesday, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) unveiled the latest world rankings for mixed doubles, thereby allocating the remaining coveted spots for the event at the Paris Olympics. Notable pairs securing their tickets include the world No. 1 duo Wang/Sun of China, South Korea’s Lim Jong-hoon/Shin Yu-bin ranked at No. 2, and Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto/Hina Hayata occupying the third position.

Additionally, China’s Lin Yun-Ju/Chen Szu-Yu, Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu/Bernadette Szocs, and Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki/Dora Madarasz clinched their spots through the latest rankings. France, as the host country, secured the final quota, represented by Alexis Lebrun and Yuan Jianan, poised to compete in front of their home crowd.

Completing the roster are continental champions and winners from the world mixed doubles qualification held in Havirov, Czech Republic, last April, ensuring a diverse and competitive field for the highly anticipated event.

As the Paris Games draw near, anticipation builds for an exhilarating showcase of table tennis prowess, with top athletes from across the globe vying for Olympic glory in what promises to be an unforgettable spectacle of sporting excellence.