Tokyo Olympics: After India, China slams Japan’s Covid rules, says ‘extremely difficult’

Tokyo Olympics: After India, China slams Japan's Covid rules, says 'extremely difficult'
Tokyo Olympics: After India, China slams Japan's Covid rules, says 'extremely difficult'

Tokyo Olympics: After India, China slams Japan’s Covid rules, says ‘extremely difficult’: China’s table tennis chief has bemoaned Covid-19 safety rules at the Tokyo Olympics, saying they are making life “extremely difficult” as his team look to sweep the golds once again.

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China have won 28 of the 32 table tennis titles awarded at the Olympics, dominating a sport in a way that has rarely been matched.

But the lead-up to the pandemic-delayed Games has thrown up several challenges, from inconsistent form among China’s top players to new rules to stop the coronavirus spreading.

China’s table tennis chief has bemoaned Covid-19 safety rules at the Tokyo Olympics, saying they are making life “extremely difficult” as his team look to sweep the golds once again.

China have won 28 of the 32 table tennis titles awarded at the Olympics, dominating a sport in a way that has rarely been matched.

But the lead-up to the pandemic-delayed Games has thrown up several challenges, from inconsistent form among China’s top players to new rules to stop the coronavirus spreading.

The table tennis association clip has circulated widely, attracting 140 million views on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo as of Wednesday.

“If you can’t beat us, so be it. Why look for so many reasons including the pandemic?” one user wrote.

In the interview, Liu — himself a former world and Olympic champion — said the team is now helping athletes “resist pressure and interference” at the Olympics.

“The most difficult competitions for the athletes are the first two rounds — during such elimination rounds and ‘life-and-death battles’,” he added.

China’s six-member squad this year includes reigning Olympic champion Ma Long and world number one Fan Zhendong in the men’s singles, while world champion Liu Shiwen will play the mixed doubles and women’s team events.

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Aside from China, the only other countries to win Olympic table tennis titles are South Korea (three times) and Sweden (once).