Chinanews client, Beijing, November 29th (Reporter Wang Yu) On the 29th, Beijing time, the 2021 Houston World Table Tennis Championships mixed doubles semi-finals began to compete.

The Sino-US combination Lin Gaoyuan/Zhang An lost 2:3 to the Japanese combination Zhang Bentomo/Hina Hayata, regrettably stopped in the semi-finals.

  Since the ITTF re-allowed the "inter-association combination" to participate in the World Table Tennis Championships in 2015, Guoping has repeatedly matched Chinese and foreign combinations and achieved fruitful results.

In 2015, Xu Xin/Liang Xiayin combination won the mixed doubles gold medal; in 2017, Fang Bo partnered with German player Solga to win the mixed doubles third place.

  This year's World Table Tennis Championships, the ability of Chinese and American players to compete in partnership is precisely due to the meeting of the China-US Table Tennis Association before the start of the game.

This year coincides with the 50th anniversary of Sino-US "Ping Pong Diplomacy". The Chinese Table Tennis Association and the United States Table Tennis Association submitted applications to the ITTF for allowing the Sino-US mixed doubles to participate.

  The deadline for registration is just around the corner. After the joint efforts of all parties and the approval of the ITTF Executive Committee, the Sino-US mixed doubles match plan was finally realized.

Chinese athletes Lin Gaoyuan and Wang Manyu were paired with American players Zhang An and Kanak to participate in the mixed doubles competition.

  In this World Table Tennis Championships, after Kanak/Wang Manyu regretted their exit, Lin Gaoyuan/Zhang An lived up to expectations and advanced to the top 4 of the mixed doubles.

Although they failed to enter the finals, the two have determined to win at least the bronze medal.

This is the first time an American table tennis player has made it to the podium of the World Table Tennis Championships since 1959.

Lin Gaoyuan and Zhang An are in the game.

Image source: ITTF

  This precious bronze medal not only belongs to the beautiful memory and glory of Lin Gaoyuan and Zhang An about the Houston World Table Tennis Championships, but also leaves a distinctive mark on the history of Chinese and American sports.

Starting from the first match of the two pairs of Sino-US combinations on the 23rd local time, this six-day journey has written a good story in the history of world sports.

  Although he only played three games with Wang Manyu, Kanak also believes that he has benefited a lot. "In my career, it is a rare opportunity to team up with the world champion. Not only did I learn a lot from Wang Manyu, but also Thank you Xiao Zhan for your help. This is a great experience for me and a valuable learning experience."

  According to Liu Guoliang, Chairman of the Chinese Table Tennis Association, the significance of Chinese and American players playing together is not only about results. "If the carrier of table tennis, through the interaction of the two countries’ table tennis players on the field, the friendship between the two peoples can be conveyed, everyone will feel that This is the glory in the history of table tennis."

  "In 10, 20, 50 years, when people refer to the 50th anniversary of China-US'ping-pong diplomacy', they will remember the first joint pairing between Chinese and American players, and they will remember Lin Gaoyuan, Wang Manyu, Zhang An and Kanak are four athletes." Liu Guoliang said.

On November 22, local time, the two Sino-US cross-national mixed doubles teams preparing for the World Table Tennis Championships in Houston, USA, conducted joint training.

China Table Tennis Association Chairman Liu Guoliang (fourth from left) and U.S. Table Tennis Association CEO Shen Weini (fourth from right) show the uniforms exchanged between the Chinese and American teams.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Liu Guanguan

  Because of this, the end of the World Table Tennis Championships mixed doubles event is not the end for the four athletes who are on the rise in their careers.

Since they stood together on the field of the Houston World Table Tennis Championships, they are also destined to become a new starting point for Sino-US sports exchanges.

  It is the 50th anniversary of China-US "Ping-Pong Diplomacy". The mobilization of Chinese and American table tennis players and the meeting of the China-US Table Tennis Association have more profound meaning under this special historical node.

  As the American player Zhang An said after the game, the team’s match is a sport, and it’s more transcendence. “I really appreciate all those who support us, whether it’s Chinese or American fans. Although this is a sport, it’s even more important. A kind of transcendence, to convey hope to the world, we can coexist peacefully, cooperate and exchange together."

On November 22, local time, the two Sino-US cross-national mixed doubles teams preparing for the World Table Tennis Championships in Houston, USA, conducted joint training.

China Table Tennis Association Chairman Liu Guoliang (second from left) communicates with Lin Gaoyuan and Zhang An.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Liu Guanguan

  "We can win all the championships, and we can also help promote the development of table tennis in countries around the world. This is a very good action to pass on China's table tennis culture and sports spirit to the world." Liu Guoliang has repeatedly stated that China, as a big country in table tennis, should Demonstrate the demeanor of a big country and promote the development of world table tennis.

  "Chinese table tennis is shared by the world". The Chinese and American players partnered to compete in the World Table Tennis Championships. This is a successful practice of China playing an active role in international table tennis affairs. It will also become a model of cooperation and development between international table tennis associations in the future.

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