Difficult traffic route to the Olympics between evening table tennis



Syria’s Zaza was just five years old when he first lifted a table tennis pedal, and is now the youngest 12-year-old to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

Last year, Ghazi qualified for the Olympics by defeating a Lebanese rival in his war-torn country to win the West Asia Championship in the 1940s.

She is the only female member of the six-member team hoping to win her country’s fourth Olympic medal.

On Saturday, she will take on 39-year-old Austrian Liu Jia in the women’s singles preliminary round.

At the 1968 Winter Olympics, 11-year-old Beatrice Hustio became the youngest Olympian to compete in figure skating.

Coach Adam Jaman says he discovered Zaza when he was just five or three years old in Syria’s devastating civil war.

She was playing ping pong with her older brother Obeda, the junior national tennis table champion, at a Hama sports hall in the middle of the evening.

“I was impressed by her body, intense anxiety and intuition,” Juma said.

“It was clearly a gift.”

Knowing that he is intelligent, determined and ambitious, he started by giving his daily training sessions at the same sports center.

Just seven months later, he was paid at the age of six at the 2015 Syrian Junior Championships when Zaza finished second.

From there, she rose from one success to another.

By the age of nine, he had won the Under-12 National Championship and the West Asia Championship. And she won the National Women’s Cup.

Syria’s civil war has killed nearly 500,000 people, displaced millions and destroyed infrastructure since anti-government protests began in 2011.

“We trained under tough conditions,” said Juman, who until recently was his coach.

“There was a power outage in the sports hall. Sometimes we would be trapped inside for hours” when the rebel artillery caught fire.

“And we struggled to get visas to compete abroad.”

As the death toll rose at the start of the Syrian war, several countries cut diplomatic ties with the Syrian government and closed their missions in Damascus.

But last year, after the Chinese Olympic Committee lifted the Kora virus ban, Zaza was invited to go to China with his athletes and train.

He is now in Tokyo with Majid Adnan Ghazal, the top jumper of the Syrian nationals, weightlifter Man Asad, Shojpar Ahmed Hamsho, swimmer Ayman Kalzia, and triangle Muhammad Miso.

There are high hopes for Zaza.

“I dream of one day becoming a world champion and an Olympic champion,” he told AFP.

But I also want to “finish my education and become a pharmacist.”

His father, an amateur footballer, has always made sure he has private tuition so he won’t miss school during the competition.

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