Table Tennis Preview

The U.S. table tennis team is prepared to represent Team USA in Tokyo. With multiple national team players competing as full-time professionals overseas, USA Table Tennis is more prepared than ever to make a strong impression at the Olympic Games in 2021.

With more exposure and limelight on the international table tennis circuit, the results have continued to grow. Team USA world rankings are at an all-time high, highlighted by both team and individual success. Both the U.S. men's and women's teams reached the quarterfinals of the world team cup in Tokyo in 2019 and have been increasing in team world ranking consistently.

Lily Zhang went above and beyond in 2019, being awarded the International Table Tennis Federation Breakthrough Star Award after her sweep of the Pan Am Championships where she won four gold medals, then not long after broke records by placing fourth at the women's world cup, where she defeated former cup champion Miu Hirano of Japan.

The six-member U.S. team was named following the Olympic Trials in Feb.-March 2020. 2016 Olympic Kanak Jha is joined by Nikhil Kumar and Xin Zhou on the men’s side, while Huijing Wang and Liu Juan join Olympic veteran Lily Zhang on the women’s team. With these strong contenders, there is no time like the present for Team USA to push for its first-ever Olympic medal in the sport.

Updated on July 21, 2020. For more information, contact the sport press officer here.

Kanak Jha looks to make his return to the Olympic stage after representing Team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. The reigning four-time national champion and Youth Olympic bronze medalist is considered one of the world's rising stars in the sport.

Lily Zhang will be the veteran of the team with her third Olympic Games berth. She previously won the women's bronze medal at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and reached the top 16 at the Olympic Games in 2016.

Multiple players reside, train and compete overseas as full-time professionals. The scenery has changed since the 2016 Olympic Games and the results have improved on the world stage. The U.S. team is now considered one to watch in international competition as the athletes push for the U.S.’s first-ever Olympic medal in the sport.

Kanak Jha: In 2016, Jha was the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic Team, the first athlete born in the 2000s to be named to a U.S. Olympic Team roster and the youngest male table tennis player to compete at the Olympic Games. He is four-time consecutive national champion and currently ranked (as of March 2020) No. 26 in the world. He currently competes in the first division of the Bundesliga in Germany.

Lily Zhang :A two-time Olympian (2012 and 2016), Zhang won the bronze medal at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. She is a five-time national champion and is currently a full-time professional in the first division of the Bundesliga in Germany.

Juan Liu: became a citizen of the U.S. in 2016 and has become one of the most dominant players in the nation. She won both the national championship and US Open title in 2018, and reached the US Open semifinals in 2019. She has not lost to a U.S. woman, and has helped the U.S. defeat Canada last year to lock down a team quote spot for Tokyo. Liu previously was a member of the Chinese national team and played in the Super League for almost 10 years. She is now a player and coach based in New York.

In order to earn the team and two singles positions (for each gender) available for North America, the U.S. successfully topped Canada in October 2019.

The slots were selected by:

· Highest world ranking (one spot per gender: Kanak Jha ranked No. 25 and Lily Zhang ranked No. 28)

· U.S. Olympic Team Trials (two spots per gender: Xin Zhou and Nikhil Kumar on the men’s side and Juan Liu and Huijing Wang on the women’s side)

Feb. 27 – March 1, 2020: U.S. Olympic Trials