By Ivan Zhakata

IT was pomp and funfair at the third edition of the Chinese Ambassador Table Tennis Cup, a friendly match held between Zimbabwe and China held at Harare International School over the weekend.

The tournament saw hundreds of people from the Zimbabwean and Chinese Community thronging the venue to support their teams.

It was graced by the Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe His Excellency Mr Guo Shaochun and officials from the National Arts Council and the Sports and Recreation Commission among other Zimbabwean and Chinese delegates.

At least 30 participants took part in the men, women and singles contest. In the teams contest the Zimbabwean Men team scooped the trophy after beating the Chinese team 6 – 3, whilst the Chinese Ladies team scooped the cup after thrashing the Zimbabwean Ladies 6 – 1.

Ambassador Shaochun also showcased his table tennis skills that added fun to the spectators.

Officially opening the tournament, Ambassador Shaochun said this was their third tournament to be hosted in Zimbabwe after hosting two successful tournaments in the previous years.

“Table tennis is the most popular sport in China. People like it because it brings fun, it does not require a stadium just a table and people can play the game. It is a good sport which increases people’s understanding and it has a fair play with a good sport spirit.

“This year it was a good game with our Zimbabwean counterparts who are our good friends for such a long time. Table tennis further enhances relations and make them last forever so we need to increase people’s understanding not only from the political side but by playing games and have fun. This is what we do in China and we want our Zimbabwean friends to share our culture and our joy through playing table tennis,” he said.

Zimbabwe Chinese Table Tennis Association chairman Liping Wang said they were happy that the tournament was successful and lived up to its billing.

“We had more Zimbabwe fans who came here to watch this fantastic event. We also had students from different schools and headmasters who came to witness the Zimbabwe table tennis sport development. Zimbabwe Table tennis union have done a marvellous job.

“The standard of the Zimbabwean players is getting stronger and I still remember at the first Chinese Ambassador Table Tennis Cup, the Chinese used to easily beat Zimbabwe but now as time goes on Zimbabwe now can beat China on other games. Congratulations to the Zimbabwe team,” he said.

Wang said he hoped that the table tennis bridge builds a link between the Chinese people and the Zimbabwean people and a friendship that lives long.

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