8/21/2016 2:42:10 AM

Ping-pong dreams

Ping-pong dreams

IN HIS broken English and with some help from Yan Hong Jun, his coach at El Jaish, Li Ping explained his dream to win a medal for Qatar at the Rio Olympic Games in August.

The star paddler had a fantastic season with Jaish, whom he guided to four domestic titles.

Li, who won a mixed doubles gold with Cao Zhen for China at the 2009 World Championships in Yokohama, Japan, is aware of the tough challenge at the Olympics, where he will have to cross swords with several of his former countrymen.

However, the world No.28 exuded confidence that his experience at the top level would help him achieve his goal.

“My target is to win a medal at the Olympics. If that’s achieved, I’ll be happy that I did something for the country. It’s a tough job, but I’ll definitely try,” Li told Doha Stadium Plus.

The Qatar Table Tennis Association (QTTA) was also upbeat as Li had got through the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament in Hong Kong in April.

QTTA President Khaleel Ahmed Al Mohannadi said it would arrange training camps for Li in Europe.

“We’ll arrange pre-Olympic camps for Li. He’s our top player and he must get the best training, so he could prepare well for the Olympics,” said Al Mohannadi.

After moving to Qatar last year, Li won the singles title at the GAC Group ITTF World Tour Belarus Open in Minsk, beating Germany’s Ruwen Filus 11-5, 11-5, 11-7, 8-11, 10-12, 11-9.

Yan believes his ward can do well at Rio.

“Li has a good pedigree. Just like Brazilian footballers will’ve good techniques, the same goes for paddlers of Chinese origin. The preliminary rounds at the Olympics will be difficult. If Li manages to live up to his expectations and form, he can advance to the quarterfinal,” said Yan. 

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