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Five former Chinese table tennis players will represent Singapore for the first time in the upcoming Qatar Open in Doha this week.
They left for Doha early Tuesday, local Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao reported Wednesday.
Zhan Jian, a 29-year-old male from China’s central province of Hubei, first played as a member of the Chinese national team in 1998. Li Hu, 22, was on the Chinese men’s national team from 2002 to 2009.
Zhan and Li will also pair up for the men’s doubles category.
The other three players are much younger. Zhou Yihan, a 17-year-old girl, was from the eastern province of Shandong, and Lin Ye, a 15-year-old girl, was from Hunan. Chen Feng, a 16-year-old boy, was from Hebei.
Team manager Eddy Tay Han Chong said all the players had been subject to strict selection procedures.
He said that Zhan and Li could hopefully boost the hopes for Singapore men’s team to qualify for the Olympics.
Some of the successful players in Singapore, like Feng Tianwei and Li Jiawei were former Chinese players. Feng, the world No. 3, is also the Singapore Table Tennis Association’s player of the year.