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Characteristic: Canada table tennis Expansion realizes Olympic berth

For Canada' s Olympic table tennis group, the Chinese connection runs deep.

With a mentor from Tianjin and two of their four players hailing from Hebei province, how the team has qualified to the London Summer Olympics is a success itself and they're looking at what upsets they can pull off.

"Our position is that we don' have no pressure, everyone can see it," said Wang Zhen, a 26-year-old out of Shijiazhuang, who will be representing Canada in the group event.

Speaking Saturday in the Vancouver suburb town of Richmond at the Championships, the group' s closing warm-up occasion before flying to London on Monday, '' Wang, the nation' s top men' s singles player, now ranked 107th in the ITTF World Ranking, missed out on the Olympic qualifying for singles as he didn' t receive his Canadian citizenship until June 1.With a list that includes winning the men' s singles in the U.S. Open earlier this month and visiting the quarter-finals at the Slovenian Open in January, the Ottawa resident told Xinhua it could be a huge accomplishment for the group to get into the third round in the Olympics and see where they can go from there ping pong paddles reviews ."

Obviously, this is a fantastic chance to demonstrate my level in the international field. The Olympics is the biggest tournament for our game and that I' m glad to get this chance to compete with leading players on the planet and that I will try my best to get some games.

"With the team rounded out by Shijiazhung-born Zhang Mo, the nation' s leading female player who won the gold medal in the singles in last year' s Pan-American Games, Montreal native Pierre-Luc Hinse, and Vancouver' s Andre Ho, Canada head coach Duan Yong Jun said his young team could only improve with the international contest and attempt to learn from the very best players. "

When I first took this job (nearly two years ago), really our target is to get the 2016 Olympic Games. But fortunately, we also qualified for the Olympics this time plus it' s a good experience for the group," he explained.As a product of the China national youth group who played with the national team before immigrating to Singapore in 1995, Duan, now a Canadian citizen, stated while the game is growing in the nation - Table Tennis Canada estimates there are about two million recreational gamers - to the elite players it is quite much about personal sacrifice.

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He points out his players get basic government funds ranging from $1,500 to $2,000 per month, supplemented by whatever else they can gain from sponsorships and prize-money earnings. The players train six days a week daily.

Duan believes his team has no chance against the dominant Chinese who have won 41 medals, including 20 gold, since table tennis was introduced into the Olympic roster in 1988. Canada' s performance in the Olympics was in 1996 when a Guangdong transplant, Johnny Huang, finished fifth in the singles in the Atlanta Games.

"Our ability level is still far away (from China). There' s a large gap between them. Even for the other countries I believe there' s quite a gap in contrast to China. They' re quite powerful. Now the Chinese market is good and they have the best system for players. In Europe, the league last for eight to 10 months. Our players need more international competition."

Ho, the youngest on the team at 20, was the first player to secure a place at the Games for Canada by winning the North American Olympic qualifier. Together with parents who made his way to Canada from Guangdong through Hong Kong, he said it was a joy for his whole family that he was in the Olympics from the powerhouse nations.

"Today table tennis in Canada and North America is becoming increasingly more popular. It' s getting popular in a way where more people are kind of trying to achieve a level that is higher. They see players such as us, like I' m just a normal kid that went into college and I' m playing in the Olympic Games, anything' s potential."

Ho laughed when asked if anybody could beat the Chinese."Its' a bit too tough for us players from North America, Africa or Oceana, place like this. But I mean, you know in Europe. I believe if the Chinese gamers have a certain amount of pressure on these, along with other players may definitely put good pressure on these it' s potential.

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"Wang discovered firsthand just how good the top Chinese players are when he advanced to the quarterfinal at the Slovenian Open for a matchup with Ma Long. The superstar, currently ranked No. 2 on the ITTF World Ranking, destroyed him 4-0."

Just in the very first set did I give him a challenge," Wang said, smiling at the memory. "Clearly, he had a little bit more luck than me, however, no matter who plays with him on earth all of them look bad."

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