China's Wang Chuqin returns a ball from Hong Kong's Wong...

China's Wang Chuqin returns a ball from Hong Kong's Wong Chun Ting during the Table Tennis Men's Singles semi-final match for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023. No. 1 in the men's singles ranking, Wang was an alternate for the Chinese team at the Tokyo Games. Credit: AP/Ng Han Guan

A roadmap to follow for the table tennis competition at the Paris Olympics:

Athletes to Watch

—Ma Long, China: The 35-year-old table tennis icon is the reigning Olympic and World Cup singles champion. He also won the Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

—Sun Yingsha, China: Sun is the top-ranked woman and the defending World Cup singles champion. She also helped China win gold at the Tokyo Games in the women's team competition.

—Wang Chuqin, China: No. 1 in the men's singles ranking, Wang was an alternate for the Chinese team at the Tokyo Games.

—Felix Lebrun, France: The 17-year-old Lebrun is considered one of the rising stars in the sport. At No. 5 in the world, Lebrun is the highest-ranked player from anywhere outside of China.

Storylines to Follow

China's Ma Long serves the ball during the table tennis...

China's Ma Long serves the ball during the table tennis men's team gold medal match against Germany's Timo Boll at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021, in Tokyo. The 35-year-old table tennis icon is the reigning Olympic and World Cup singles champion. He also won the Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Credit: AP/Kin Cheung

—China aims to increase its dominance of the sport that was added to the Olympic program at Seoul in 1988. Chinese athletes have won 32 of the 37 gold medals so far, and 60 of the 115 total medals. The only other nations to have won gold medals are South Korea (three) and Japan and Sweden, which have one each.

—Young brothers Felix and Alexis Lebrun have quickly risen through the ranks and could be vying for medals at their home Olympics. Both were ranked over 750th in the world in 2022, and are now in the top 35. They played for France when it lost to China in the world team championships final in February.

Key Dates

—The table tennis competition runs July 27 to Aug. 10.

China's Sun Yingsha returns to China's Wang Yidi during the...

China's Sun Yingsha returns to China's Wang Yidi during the final in the World Table Tennis Cup Finals in Singapore, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. Sun is the top-ranked woman and the defending World Cup singles champion. She also helped China win gold at the Tokyo Games in the women's team competition. Credit: AP/Paul Miller

The singles events take place in the first week with the women's final on Aug. 3 and the men's final on Aug. 4. The team events are staged in the second week, with men's medals awarded on Aug. 9 and the women's team medals on Aug. 10.

Reigning Champions

Women’s singles: Chen Meng, China.

Women’s team: China (Chen Meng, Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu).

Men’s singles: Ma Long, China

Men’s team: China (Fan Zhendong, Ma Long and Xu Xin).

Mixed doubles: Japan (Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito).

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