Hong Kong’s Tokyo 2020 medal hopes given boost as Olympic committee adds table tennis doubles to programme
The combination of Wong Chun-ting and Doo Hoi-kem have excelled in recent years
Hong Kong received a boost to their medal hopes ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after table tennis mixed doubles was added to the medal programme.
The combination of Wong Chun-ting and Doo Hoi-kem clinched two consecutive bronze medals at the World Championships, including in Dusseldorf last week. With their excellent track records, Hong Kong could mount a serious challenge in Tokyo after falling to win any silverware in Rio last summer.
With the inclusion of mixed doubles, there will be five events in Tokyo for the first time since table tennis was introduced at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
The four others remain the same – men’s team and singles and women’s team and singles.
The International Olympic Committee made the decision at the executive committee meeting in Peru on Friday.
President Thomas Bach visited the World Championships last week for the mixed doubles final, strongly hinting the event could join the Olympic programme.
Japanese duo Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa clinched the gold medal on the occasion, the first mixed doubles gold for their nation since 1969.
The introduction of mixed doubles would not change the number of participants at the Olympics as organisers can ask the countries that have qualified in both the team events to participate.