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Facts and Figures: WTTC 2008 in China

World Team Table Tennis Championships in Guangzhou, China (24 Feb - 2 Mar)

Facts and Figures about China and its Challengers

China’s men and women first participated in 1953 at World Table Tennis Championships. The men’s team has won fifteen times since 1961, China’s women have been crowned World Champions sixteen times since 1965.

Both, men and women, are reigning World and Asian Champion. The Chinese men’s team consist of the number one, two, three, four and seven; in the women’s team there are the five best players in the world.

The last time the title went to another country was in the year 2000 where China’s men lost the final against Sweden. The women are continual World Team Champions since 1993.

Family Saive soon with 42 WTTC Participations
Belgium’s thirty-eight year old Jean-Michel Saive will play his seventeenth World Championships in a row in Guangzhou since his first appearance in Tokyo 1983. Jean-Michel’s brother Philippe Saive is two years younger and is about to show up for the fifteenth time since 1987.

The most successful table tennis player in history, Victor Barna, participated nineteen times between 1929 and 1954 for Hungary and England.

In the Hall of Fame but still Playing
Four players who are already in the ITTF Hall of Fame want to win some more medals at the Evergrande World Table Tennis Championships in Guangzhou. Sweden’s Jörgen Persson and China’s Wang Liqin as well as the Chinese women Wang Nan and Zhang Yining.

The most successful of them is Wang Nan. The twenty-nine year old has won three times the World Championships in the singles competition, five times in doubles and also five times with the Chinese team. Furthermore she won gold in the Mixed Double’s event at the World Championships 2003 in Paris and is three times Olympic Champion.

European Medals
The latest European gold medal at World Championships was in 2003 where the Austrian Werner Schlager prevailed in the Men’s competition. The Greek Kalinikos Kreanga and Croatia’s Tamara Boros won bronze in the Men’s and Women’s Singles event respectively. Further European highlights were the bronze medals of Denmark’s Michael Maze 2005 in the Men’s Singles event and the Belarusian women’s team in 2006.

Three more medals went to Germany and its superstar Timo Boll. The men’s team won silver in 2004 and bronze in Bremen 2006 on home soil at the Liebherr World Team Table Tennis Championships. In Shanghai 2005 Boll won the silver medal in the Doubles event with Christian Süss.

- ITTF Press Release

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