By Ivan Zhakata
THE Chinese Ambassador Table Tennis Cup has bounced back and is set to take place over the weekend at Harare International School.
The tournament did not take place last year as there was no Chinese Ambassador in Zimbabwe after the then Ambassador left for China.
Hosted by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Zimbabwe the tournament was organized by Zimbabwe Chinese Table Tennis Association in partnership with the Zimbabwe Table Tennis Union and the Chamber of Chinese Enterprises in Zimbabwe.
This year the two-day third edition of the tournament is expected to attract a large crowd of table tennis fans as it is reported to be bigger and better than the previous tournaments.
Addressing journalists at Shangri La restaurants in Highlands on Wednesday, the director of the political section for the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China Mrs Guo Jing said she was honored to announce the return of the Chinese Ambassador Table Tennis Cup.
She said the tournament was a brand name in China and hosting it in Zimbabwe showed the bilateral relationship between China and Zimbabwe.
“I am told that the previous matches have been exciting and captivating. The Chinese Ambassador Table Tennis Cup has attracted many people from all walks of life from both the Zimbabwean and the Chinese Community. Table Tennis is a major sport and widely played in China.
“It is a sport that is ordinarily accessible to all people. It does not need a big space, all you need is a small table, rackets and a tennis ball. I regard table tennis a good sport and a healthy way to exercise. China is traditionally strong in table tennis and is ranked at the top in the world and I am excited that Zimbabwe has people who play table tennis,” she said.
Zimbabwe Chinese Table Tennis Association chairperson Mr Liping Wang said, “This is the third tournament for the Chinese Ambassador Table Tennis Cup. We have hosted two tournaments in the previous years which have been a success and we are ready to make this one a successful event as well.”
Zimbabwe Table Tennis Union presidents Mr Noah Ferenando said in as much as they were learning table tennis from the Chinese counterparts they were more than ready for the tournament.
“We are actually learning a lot from these games and we are more than ready for the tournament as we have been preparing for a week now. We are also grateful to our Chinese counterparts for donating the kit which we will be using for the tournament and we say may the best players win,” he said.