Chinese medallists (from left) Wang Liqin, Ma Lin and Wang Hao stand at attention for the national anthem during the awards ceremony for men’s singles table tennis, at the Beijing Olympic Games on August 23, 2008. Ma won gold, defeating Wang Hao who took silver, while Wang Liqin took bronze. Photo: AFP Chinese medallists (from left) Wang Liqin, Ma Lin and Wang Hao stand at attention for the national anthem during the awards ceremony for men’s singles table tennis, at the Beijing Olympic Games on August 23, 2008. Ma won gold, defeating Wang Hao who took silver, while Wang Liqin took bronze. Photo: AFP
Chinese medallists (from left) Wang Liqin, Ma Lin and Wang Hao stand at attention for the national anthem during the awards ceremony for men’s singles table tennis, at the Beijing Olympic Games on August 23, 2008. Ma won gold, defeating Wang Hao who took silver, while Wang Liqin took bronze. Photo: AFP

Why China’s National Games are tougher than the Olympics for table tennis players and weightlifters

  • Olympic rules capping player numbers per event to prevent medals domination have left China a victim of its own success at grooming top-class athletes
  • At the National Games, unfettered by representation rules, the world’s top tennis players and weightlifters test each other to set new standards of excellence

Topic |   2021 National Games of China
Chinese medallists (from left) Wang Liqin, Ma Lin and Wang Hao stand at attention for the national anthem during the awards ceremony for men’s singles table tennis, at the Beijing Olympic Games on August 23, 2008. Ma won gold, defeating Wang Hao who took silver, while Wang Liqin took bronze. Photo: AFP Chinese medallists (from left) Wang Liqin, Ma Lin and Wang Hao stand at attention for the national anthem during the awards ceremony for men’s singles table tennis, at the Beijing Olympic Games on August 23, 2008. Ma won gold, defeating Wang Hao who took silver, while Wang Liqin took bronze. Photo: AFP
Chinese medallists (from left) Wang Liqin, Ma Lin and Wang Hao stand at attention for the national anthem during the awards ceremony for men’s singles table tennis, at the Beijing Olympic Games on August 23, 2008. Ma won gold, defeating Wang Hao who took silver, while Wang Liqin took bronze. Photo: AFP
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