World champion Liu left out of China's Olympics singles roster

Liu, who won the women's singles world title in 2019, will instead play in the women's doubles and mixed doubles team.

Liu Shiwen, ranked seventh in the world, won a team title with China at the 2016 Rio Olympics.   -  GETTY IMAGES

World champion Liu Shiwen was left out of China's women's singles roster for this year's Tokyo Olympics after it announced a six-member team on Sunday.

Liu, who won the women's singles world title in 2019, will instead play in the women's doubles and mixed doubles team.

The 30-year-old, ranked seventh in the world, won a team title with China at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"There are too many unsure things and challenges and we need a squad full of experience and confidence, adding to top-class individual skills," Liu Guoliang, president of the Chinese Table Tennis Association, was quoted as saying in Xinhua news agency.

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World number one Chen Meng and Sun Yingsha were named for women's singles while reigning Olympic champion Ma Long, along with world number one Fan Zhendong, was selected for men's singles.

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Asian powerhouse China has won all but four of the 32 table tennis gold medals since the sport was first included at the Olympics in Seoul in 1988.

The pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23-Aug 8.

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