'Bring on the Chinese'

HARARE - Zimbabwe Table Tennis Association (ZTTA) will not look much into the world rankings when they entertain their high-flying local based Chinese in a friendly table tennis tournament scheduled for Belvedere this weekend.

China are ranked number one in the world both in the men and women’s categories while Zimbabwe sits out the top 140.

ZTTA technical director Newman Gomendo said the team was in good shape to upset their superior opponents.

“The players are on point in terms of their conditioning and skills and we will have our final preparations on Friday and it’s gonna be a 50-50 affair getting into the tournament because some of the guys have met before in local competitions,” Gomendo said.

“We know what we are up against; the Chinese are the owners of the game but we do have a young team (15-19) while the Chinese’s players are much older. Physically I think we are fitter which should be an advantage for us.”

The Zimbabweans are also set to parade the youngest player of the tournament in 13-year-old Tinotenda Fambira from Mashonaland East province.

Gomendo, who was at an international table tennis coaching course in Hungary between March and June this year, said the tournament augers well with the association team-building programme that has been taking place at Prince Edward School in Harare.

“It will certainly herald a new era in creating a platform for the development of the sport in the country, working with the young players in recent weeks has revealed that it is a very easy task to do because they are more than dedicated towards the course,” he added.

Chinese Deputy Ambassador Zhao Baogang said the tournament has the capacity to strengthen the existing ties between the two countries.

“The Chinese Ambassador Cup” China- Zimbabwe Table Tennis Friendly Match will surely further strengthen the friendship and promote bilateral sport exchanges and cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Zimbabwe. May the match be a great success,” Baogang said.

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