China changes lineup of Olympic table tennis team as injured Liu withdraws

The leading Chinese table tennis team changed their roster on Sunday at the kick-off of the Olympic team event, as Liu Shiwen withdrew after suffering a recurring elbow injury at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

China’s P card holder Wang Manyu replaced Liu.

According to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), each team is eligible to nominate a reserve player at the Tokyo Games to replace a team member who is injured or ill and the Chinese Olympic Committee has informed the committee of Tokyo 2020 organization that Liu will be replaced by Wang.

“The ITTF has reviewed the documents and confirmed the replacement,” read an ITTF statement.

Li Sun, head coach of China’s National Women’s Team, revealed that affected by her elbow injury, Liu felt quite uncomfortable in training after completing her mixed doubles service on July 26. and informed the team’s coaching group of this condition.

“We asked the delegation’s medical group for an immediate diagnosis of Liu,” Li said. “As advised by medical staff and under the principle of preserving the health of athletes, we decided to request a replacement of the card P. “

Liu won the Olympic title with China in 2016. She won her first World Cup title in 2009, and a record fifth ten years later. Liu emerged as a winner at the World Championships in 2019, her first in one of the most prestigious table tennis tournaments.

Liu expressed his pity for not being able to continue playing due to a recurrence of injury, also expressing his gratitude for everyone’s support for her and the Chinese team.

Wang joined the junior national team at the age of 14 before being promoted to the national team at 17. She helped China win team titles at the World Championships and the World Cup in 2018. The 22-year-old is also the winner of the women’s doubles at the 2019 World Championships with Sun Yingsha.

China won gold medals in the men’s and women’s singles by Ma Long and Chen Meng respectively at the current Tokyo Olympics, but Liu and his partner Xu Xin conceded a defeat to Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito in the final. of mixed doubles, seeing Japan. winning his first Olympic gold medal since the sport made its Olympic debut in 1988.

The Chinese women’s team are set to begin their title defense against Austria on Sunday.

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