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World champs Ma Long, Liu Shiwen to lead Chinese team at Busan table tennis worlds

(Xinhua)    15:38, January 21, 2020

China released the players for the Pusan Table Tennis World Championships on Jan. 20, 2020. From left to right are Liu Shiwen, Zhu Yuling, Sun Yingsha, Chen Meng, Ding Ning, Fan Zhendong, Ma Long, Xu Xin, Liang Jingkun and Wang Chuqin. (Xinhua/Wang Dongzhen)

China has announced a 10-member roster for the table tennis world championships in Busan, South Korea.

BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The all-time leading Chinese table tennis team has announced a 10-member squad for the 2020 world team championships here on Monday, with singles' reigning world champions and world No. 1s all named in the list.

Grand Slam winners Ma Long and Ding Ning, as well as the 2019 world championships women's singles title holder Liu Shiwen and the current world No. 1s Fan Zhendong and Chen Meng, are all included in the roster.

The 30-year-old Xu Xin, the highest ranked pen-hold paddler in the world, and two teenage players Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha, both 19, were also named in the squad.

Xu Xin of China competes during the men's singles semifinal match against his compatriot Ma Long at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, Dec. 14, 2019. (Xinhua/Li An)

Qin Zhijian, head coach of the men's national team, and his counterpart of the women's side, Li Sun, told media that the list was decided after a thorough discussion between the coaching staff, with the preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games taken into consideration.

"We discussed over the possible rivalries at the upcoming team worlds and at the Olympics half a year later, and took a comprehensive evaluation of every individual player before making a decision on the team roster," Qin said.

"All the efforts we made before and during the team worlds are to ensure we prepare a best squad possible for the Tokyo Games," he added.

Chen Meng of China returns a shot during the women's singles semifinal match against Ito Mima of Japan at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, Dec. 14, 2019. (Xinhua/Li An)

Wang Chuqin, instead of world No. 4 Lin Gaoyuan, is a surprising inclusion in the men's squad, and Qin explained that the teenager had proved himself a promising future star and an established one for competing in the world championships.

"The 19-year-old took a part in the 2019 Budapest worlds, and claimed the men's doubles gold medal partnering with Ma Long as a world championships debutant. He's young and agressive, his technique and tactics are of high qualities and he's balanced in singles and doubles play. We coaches believe in him and want to give him the chance to further improve," Qin said.

The 2020 team worlds is scheduled to be held in Busan, South Korea on March 22-29.

China's squad:

Men's team: Ma Long, Xu Xin, Fan Zhendong, Liang Jingkun, Wang Chuqin

Women's team: Liu Shiwen, Chen Meng, Sun Yingsha, Ding Ning, Zhu Yuling

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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