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Table Tennis at the 2012 London Summer Games:

Men's Singles

Table Tennis at the 2012 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): ExCeL, Newham, London
Date Started: July 28, 2012
Date Finished: August 2, 2012
Format: Single-elimination tournament. Top 16 seeds advanced to round three. Seeds 17-32 advanced to round two.

Gold: CHN Zhang Jike
Silver: CHN Wang Hao
Bronze: GER Dmitrij Ovtcharov

Summary

China had not been quite as dominant in the men’s table tennis singles event at the Olympics as they had in the women’s: although they too had swept the podium in 2008, they had failed to reach the final at the inaugural 1988 tournament, which was won by South Korea, and lost the crown to South Korea once more in 2004. Still, the nation had the top two seeds and its history of gold medal success in Olympic table tennis left them as the favorites for the top two spots. Zhang Jike, the reigning World Champion in both the singles and team events, was ranked number one while Wang Hao, the runner-up at the most recent World Championships and a two-time Olympic veteran with medals in the singles (silver in 2004 and 2008) and team (gold in 2008) events, was ranked number two. Wang was defeated in 2008’s all-China final by Ma Lin, but Ma had slipped in the rankings and a new rule from the International Table Tennis Federation, intended to curtail the nation’s dominance in the event, allowed for only two entrants per country in the tournament. This left Jun Mizutani of Japan, an Olympic veteran who had never won a major international singles medal, as the number three seed.

Both Zhang and Wang survived to the semifinals, but Zhang struggled more along the way. While Wang gave up only two sets of fourteen, Zhang surrendered twice that many and, in a fourth round match against Bulgaria’s ninth-seeded Vladimir Samsonov, was at one point behind two sets to three. Zhang and Wang’s opponents in the semifinals, eighth-seeded Dmitrij Ovtcharov of Germany and fifth-seeded Chuan Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei respectively, each fell in five sets, leading to the expected Chinese final. Despite his relative lackluster performance throughout the tournament, Zhang defeated Wang soundly and efficiently in the final, four sets to one, leading to an outcome that had seemed pre-ordained soon after the first set. The bronze medal match was somewhat more engaging, with Ovtcharov taking the first set and Chuan the next two. Ovtcharov then rallied, capturing the last three in mostly hard-won battles and earning the final podium spot. Although he had silver medals from the team events at the 2008 Summer Games and the 2010 and 2012 World Championships, his bronze in London was his first major international medal in the singles category.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Zhang Jike 24 China CHN Gold
2 Wang Hao 28 China CHN Silver
3 Dmitrij Ovtcharov 23 Germany GER Bronze
4 Chuan Chih-Yuan 31 Chinese Taipei TPE
5T Jiang Tianyi 24 Hong Kong HKG
5T Michael Maze 30 Denmark DEN
5T Adrian Crişan 32 Romania ROU
5T Seiya Kishikawa 25 Japan JPN
9T Vladimir Samsonov 36 Belarus BLR
9T Kim Hyok-Bong 26 North Korea PRK
9T Weixing Chen 40 Austria AUT
9T Jun Mizutani 23 Japan JPN
9T Timo Boll 31 Germany GER
9T Andrej Gaćina 26 Croatia CRO
9T O Sang-Eun 35 South Korea KOR
9T Gao Ning 29 Singapore SIN
17T Bora Vang 25 Turkey TUR
17T William Henzell 30 Australia AUS
17T Aleksey Smirnov 34 Russia RUS
17T Ju Se-Hyeok 32 South Korea KOR
17T Paul Drinkhall 22 Great Britain GBR
17T Adrien Mattenet 24 France FRA
17T Kallinikos Kreangka 40 Greece GRE
17T El-Sayed Lashin 32 Egypt EGY
17T Noshad Alamian 20 Iran IRI
17T Zhiwen He 50 Spain ESP
17T Aleksandr Shibayev 21 Russia RUS
17T Dániel Zwickl 27 Hungary HUN
17T Marcos Freitas 24 Portugal POR
17T Panagiotis Gionis 32 Greece GRE
17T Bojan Tokič 31 Slovenia SLO
17T Werner Schlager 39 Austria AUT
33T Quadri Aruna 23 Nigeria NGR
33T João Monteiro 28 Portugal POR
33T Matīss Burģis 22 Latvia LAT
33T Soumyajit Ghosh 19 India IND
33T Yang Zi 28 Singapore SIN
33T Oleksandr Didukh 30 Ukraine UKR
33T Jean-Michel Saive 42 Belgium BEL
33T Zoran Primorac 43 Croatia CRO
33T Tang Peng 31 Hong Kong HKG
33T Zengyi Wang 29 Poland POL
33T Jörgen Persson 46 Sweden SWE
33T Aleksandar Karakašević 36 Serbia SRB
33T Luis Lin 32 Dominican Republic DOM
33T Omar Assar 21 Egypt EGY
33T Song Liu 40 Argentina ARG
33T Mihai Bobocica 25 Italy ITA
49T Carlos Machado 32 Spain ESP
49T Ádám Pattantyús 33 Hungary HUN
49T Pierre-Luc Hinse 24 Canada CAN
49T Gustavo Tsuboi 27 Brazil BRA
49T Ibrahim Al-Hasan 25 Kuwait KUW
49T Marcelo Aguirre 19 Paraguay PAR
49T Marko Jevtović 25 Serbia SRB
49T Pär Gerell 30 Sweden SWE
49T Justin Han 20 Australia AUS
49T Hugo Hoyama 43 Brazil BRA
49T Segun Toriola 37 Nigeria NGR
49T Allan Bentsen 43 Denmark DEN
49T Kim Song-Nam 19 North Korea PRK
49T Yaroslav Zhmudenko 23 Ukraine UKR
49T Suraju Saka 36 Congo (Brazzaville) CGO
49T Andy Pereira 22 Cuba CUB
65T Saheed Idowu 22 Congo (Brazzaville) CGO
65T Komi Agbetoglo 18 Togo TOG
65T Andre Ho 20 Canada CAN
65T Timothy Wang 20 United States USA
65T Yoshua Shing 19 Vanuatu VAN