Madrid, November 22 (EFE). – China and the United States will join hands in the upcoming 2021 Table Tennis World Cup, which will be held in Houston (USA), with a mixed doubles pair consisting of one member of each nationality. , in what will be a historic and unprecedented event for table tennis.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) on Monday approved the request of the federations of China and the United States to compete together; A request they made on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of “ping-pong diplomacy,” a historic game exchange between Chinese and US players that has been in place since 1971.
Chinese player Lin Gaoyuan, ranked seventh in the world rankings and world champion in 2018, will compete with his country, along with the American ranked 35th in the world, Lili Zhang. In addition, Kanak Jha, the American player (31), will be joined by Chinese player Wang Manyu (4).
Gaoyuan said he was “very happy” to compete with Lily Zhang. He said, “Our goal is to finish on top of the action. The biggest advantage to playing with her is that she speaks Mandarin. I hope we can hit the beat soon, develop good chemistry and work hard to make a great performance,” he said. .
American Zhang commented that this would be a “historic moment” and that she was “so happy that our two countries can work together through sport.” “I am very excited to play with Lin Gaoyuan, it is great to pair up with a player from the Chinese national team. They are the best in the world so I will do my best and I hope we can work well together and get the best result.”
Virginia Song, CEO of USATT – the governing body for US table tennis – said: “We are very excited that the opportunity has opened up for China and the US to play the mixed doubles event in Houston. Like so many years ago, the sport is showing us once again. The power of unity, and table tennis once again changed the course of history.”
ITTF Vice President Khalil Al Mohannadi, who is responsible for organizing the World Cup, expressed his support for the initiative proposed by both federations: “I am proud that the ITTF has been able to provide a platform for this pair uniting China and the USA. This is a historic moment in our sporting history.”
The Table Tennis World Cup 2021, to be held in Houston (USA), kicks off next Tuesday, November 23 and ends on Monday, 29, after seven days of competition.
“Coffee fanatic. Gamer. Award-winning zombie lover. Student. Hardcore internet advocate. Twitter guru. Subtly charming bacon nerd. Thinker.”