Monday, May 16, 2011

2012 London Olympic Games - Defending Champion not allowed to Compete?

Ma Lin, the defending Olympic Champion (Beijing 2008) will not be eligible to even compete if the new rules are enforced. He does not figure in the list of players that have automatically qualified.

A drastic new rule has been drawn to enable countries other than China to win at least a Bronze. Hence, only the top two players from any country can participate. The provisional qualifiers list is available here:
http://portal.ittf.com/stories/pictures/qualifiers.pdf

This list is subject to the National Olympic body's approval, which means that the Chinese Olympic Body must approve. This also means that there will be a huge hue and cry within China regarding the exclusion of Ma Lin, who is as popular a figure in China as Sachin Tendulkar is in India.

Zhang Jike, the newly crowned World Table Tennis Champion is in the provisional list of auto-qualifiers and so is Wang Hao, who will get a golden chance to add to his glorious collection of titles.