Table Tennis-China, US team up at worlds on 50th anniversary of ‘ping-pong diplomacy’

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Nov 22 (Reuters) – China and the United States will team up for the combined doubles occasion at the World Table Tennis Championships finals this month on the 50th anniversary of “ping-pong diplomacy”, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) stated on Monday.

“Ping-pong diplomacy” was triggered by a gathering between a Chinese and an American participant at the 1971 world championships and helped mend relations between the 2 nations.

The assembly resulted in an American desk tennis team being invited to China to play what the Chinese know as “ping-pong”, finally paving the best way for U.S. President Richard Nixon’s journey to the nation in 1972.

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China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Wang Manyu will companion Americans Lily Zhang and Kanak Jha, respectively, at the Nov. 23-29 occasion in Houston, the ITTF stated in a statement.

“I’m really happy to be partnering with Lily Zhang for the mixed doubles event,” Lin stated. “She’s the top table tennis player in the U.S. I’m not China’s top player yet, but our goal is to come out on top for this event.

“The greatest benefit about pairing together with her is that she speaks Mandarin. I hope we will get into the groove quickly, develop good chemistry and work laborious in direction of an amazing efficiency.”

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Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Mulvenney and Himani Sarkar

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Table Tennis - Women's Team - Gold medal match - Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium - Tokyo, Japan - August 5, 2021. Wang Manyu of China celebrates winning her match against Miu Hirano of Japan REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Table Tennis - Men's Singles - Round 2 - Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium - Tokyo, Japan - July 26, 2021.  Kanak Jha of the United States in action against Kirill Skachkov of the Russian Olympic Committee REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Table Tennis - Women's Singles - Round 3 - Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium - Tokyo, Japan - July 27, 2021. Lily Zhang of the United States in action against Chen Szu-Yu of Taiwan REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez