Chinese Table Tennis History
Chinese table tennis history dates back to around 1901 when the sport was introduced by Western settlers. The Chinese enjoyed the game and began playing regularly. As popularity of the sport increased, the Chinese entered the Table Tennis World Championships in 1953 for the first time.
The first Chinese athlete to win a World Championship was Rong Guotuan. The country was ecstatic about this recognition and began dedicating resources to training other champions that showed great potential. The Chinese also started experimenting with modifications to the equipment. It was not until 1961 that the Men’s Single Title was won by Zhuang Zedong and he returned to reclaim and defend his tiles for three years.
Xhang Xi Lin was the first to use a combination bat and went on to become a table tennis leader in China. During the period between 1965 and 1971, China vanished from the world of table tennis due to the rein of Mao Zedong. However, training still continued although they did not compete in international competitions.
To help mend these broken ties, table tennis acted as an equalizer, as China was shut off from most of the world during this period. Several teams played friendship matches from different countries, which acted as a catalyst to once again open the channels between China and the USA.
China made their presence felt when they returned in 1981 to the Table Tennis Championships, winning seven gold medals. With few exceptions this Chinese athletes dominated the field of table tennis. The Chinese have repeated this in 1995, 2001, 2005 and 2007 and won all the Gold Medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.