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Zimbabwe and China strengthen relations through sport

Table tennis

By Owami Sithole

Three teams consisting of men and women mixed doubles are set to compete in the third edition of the Chinese Ambassador’s Table Tennis Cup which will be held over the weekend at the Gymnasium Harare International School.

During a press briefing on Wednesday in Harare, Director of the Political Section Guo Jing said the tournament takes place annually as a platform to uphold bilateral relations and cross-cultural understanding will see the three teams battling for top honours on Saturday the 21st with finals set for Sunday the 22 September 2019.

“This also opens up new avenues of dialogue and collaboration between the two nations through the lens of sport,” said Jing.

She went on to say that the programme is designed to increase the understanding of Zimbabwe and China societies, culture and history as it promotes cross-cultural understanding, is ideal for health and enhances an appreciation of the diversity between the two nations.

“Table tennis is an accommodative sport regardless of age, environment and where one comes from. It can be played by ordinary people. It does not require big space. It only requires a table, a small ball and two bats. Moreover, one of the benefits of playing table tennis is that it gives a heck of a workout to one’s brain which not only keeps them physically fit, but further enhances mental acuity as well as improving hand-eye coordination,” she said.

Zimbabwe Table Tennis Union president Noah Ferenando also lauded the program and said it is beneficial to the competing teams.

“We are privileged as a nation to have this event annually since China is the beacon of table tennis in the world. To us, we are learning a lot from them in producing good players not only on the table but also off table in terms of administration and technical expertise,” said Ferenando

“For this tournament we have prepared ourselves well. We have been training seriously over a month so we want to win this time for both teams and we are also going to use these games to ur advantage in preparation for the Region Five games which are going to be held in Lesotho”, he said.

It is going to be a frantic battle as both teams are confident ahead of the tournament besides having other new players from both ends.

The Zimbabwe table tennis team also received a kit donation from the Chinese community for the Ambassador Cup Tournament and the Region Five Table Tennis Competitions which will be staged in Lesotho in December.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende