Both the men’s and women’s singles tournaments begin today in Rio for table tennis. To say that I’m stoked for this one would be an understatement. Kanak Jha’s first match started moments ago versus an Iranian named Nima Alamian. If he gets beat in the preliminary round I’m going to be incredibly disappointed. Jha, if you’re not aware, is the reigning U.S. Table Tennis National Champion. He’s seen by many not only as the future of American table tennis, but also USA Table Tennis’ best men’s player entering Rio.
Yijun Feng, Jha’s teammate from the US, got a bye to the first round and will be playing Spain’s Zhiwen He at 3:45 p.m. ET.
The nature of the Olympic table tennis tournament – seeded players can receive a bye as far into the tournament as the third round – meaning the biggest names won’t see action until Sunday evening at the very earliest.
Alright, so barring a small miracle, Jha won’t be playing by the time the big dogs start playing in the third world. He’s simply not there yet.
You can catch all the table tennis action from Rio live on NBC’s Olympic website..
[via NBC Olympics]
Image via YouTube