- Issue Time
Thomas Weikert, the president of the world table tennis governing body ITTF, told a press conference in Rio De Janeir on Wednesday that he doesn't think China's dominance over the sport is something that should be blamed for.
"It's not the fault of the Chinese players to be so good," said the 54-year-old German after the draw was made three days prior to the kick-off of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games table tennis competitions. "My opinion is that the others have to work very hard."
In the past seven editions since the sport debuted as one of the Olympic programs in 1988, China have collected 24 out of 28 gold medals on offer and swept at both Beijing 2008 and London 2012 most recently.
"China have dominated our sport and are again expected to be the favorites here in Rio de Janeiro," said Weikert. "It's better if you have a competition, but it was not competitive in the last world championships."
China's dominance had led to several format changes from ITTF, including the one after China's sweep of all Olympic table tennis medals in Beijing 2008 to limit member associations to two two contestants per gender, as well as the Chinese-dominated doubles was replaced by team events.