All Olympic events have a fixed number of participants.
I think table tennis is the only sport where this is a true problem as China is only allowed to have three players in the mens singles.
Who in their right mind thinks the tennis event was less prestigious because a few top 50 players were missing?
No, they don't. Many have concrete qualification limits, such as 11,29 in the Women's 100 meter sprint. Anyone running below that will be qualified, except of course for those countries with more than three qualified athletes.