By Ivan Zhakata
THE third edition of the Chinese Ambassador Table Tennis Cup kicks off today at Harare International School’s gymnasium.
Zimbabwe and China table tennis teams are set to battle for the Chinese ambassador table tennis cup in a 2-day tournament that is set to see a large number of tennis enthusiasts from all walks of life.
The China-Zimbabwe table tennis friendly match is hosted to strengthen the relationship between the two countries through sport, after the success of the previous editions.
At least 9 participants are expected to take part in the men, women and singles contest, a move meant to strengthen Zimbabwe and China relationship through sport.
Table tennis, also known as ping pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight ball back and forth across a table using a small bat.
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.
Zimbabwe Table Tennis Union (ZTTU) president Mr Noah Ferenando said they were happy to have received the kit from their Chinese friends.
Mr Ferenando said his team was ready to face the Chinese team and they were keen on winning the games.
“We are actually learning a lot from these games and we are more than ready now as we have been practicing for more than a week,” he said.
“We will be going for the Region 5 table tennis championships later this year in Lesotho and we hope to bring back home the trophy. Our men have been doing well and we hope that year our women will do us proud by scooping some trophies.”
Zimbabwe Chinese Table Tennis Association chairman Mr Liping Wang said the tournament showed the existing bilateral relationship between China and Zimbabwe in the development of sport in Zimbabwe.
“Table tennis is very popular in China and we have seen that a lot of people in Zimbabwe like to play table tennis. The game is also a way of strengthening relationships between Chinese people and Zimbabwean people and to show that we are not here only for business but socially.
“In playing table tennis, it will improve us and make us healthy. Table tennis is a technical sport hence we are hosting it at a technical college and this year we want to improve our spectatorship by bringing in the best players,” he said.