Ariel Hsing was eight when she wrote down her Olympic dream on a piece of paper. She rolled it up, wrapped it with a string and tucked it into a small box.
“I said something along the lines of I wish to become an Olympian one day,” the 16-year-old Californian recalled. “Then for eight years, I persuaded myself that if I opened the piece of paper and read it, my wish could not come true.”
Well now Hsing will stand for the US in table tennis at the London Olympics and she’ll be leaving with two other Californians who are even younger — 16-year old Lily Zhang and 15-year-old Erica Wu. The lone men’s representative will be Tim Wang of Houston, Texas.
Hsing has abruptly become a celebrity in a sport that gets scant notice in the US.
For starters, she is buddies with billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, close enough to call them “Uncle Warren” and “Uncle Bill.”
A table tennis buff, Buffett met Hsing when she was only nine and already a top youth player. Two years later, he invited her to play against shareholders at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual gathering. She has returned several times, including last month after winning a spot on the US team.
The closing World Olympic condition competition in Doha, held in Qatar, ended in distress for the Great British Olympic hopefuls as none of the six-strong crew managed to seal a position at London 2012.
Britain’s major hopes rested with the men’s triumvirate of Paul Drinkhall, Liam Pitchford and Andrew Baggaley who went in hunt of securing one of the two places obtainable in Doha.
However, defeats for Pitchford – against Italian Mihai Bobocica – Baggaley, who lost out to Dane Allan Bentsen and Drinkhall – toppled by Spaniard Carlos Machado – seemed to have ruined their campaigns in the Middle East.
The effect means that the 10 shortlisted players for the Olympic will have to remain for the host allocation announcement, due to be complete by the British Table Tennis Federation and the British Olympic Authority on May 22.
Luckily, for British table tennis, they had by now been owed a men’s and women’s singles and team spot at London 2012 so there will be a host attendance at the 30th Olympiad come the institute of the event in July.
China are the top dogs when u talk about table tennis they have won 20 of 24 goal medals in table tennis since the sport entered the Olympics in 1998.
The player for this year London 2012 table tennis Olympic are Wang Hao and Zhang jike in the singles and Ma long in the men’s team.
The new rules this year is that two players from any country can play singles. So there is no surprise that china has put Wang and Zhang based on performance in last year.
Table is the national sport in china which means that the players have a lot of pressure on their hand the top player to look out for this year is may be Ding who is the favorite to win gold medals in the Olympic.
Young Charles sketchley who is in sixth form at de ferrers academy has come second in the international school sport federation competition. The 17 year old has been chosen to represent UK.
He was playing got the English table tennis association in the early 2010 and had played in many different competition across the UK.
Charles’ coach, Duncan Stewart, said: “We’re all really pleased that Charles got through the ISF competition as he’s a good player with a lot to offer.”
Steve Allen, principal of de Ferrers Academy, said: “Charles is an exceptional young man and we at the academy are very proud of his achievements.”
Paul Drinkhall, Liam Pitchford and Adam Baggaley, who all tried and failed in the European qualifiers, will try their luck again, and in the women’s competition
Naomi Owen, Joanna Parker and Na Liu will compete, as English national champion Kelly Sibley is ruled out because a hip injury.
As a final fall-back, if no player qualifies, Great Britain is still entitled to six player spots at the London 2012 Games as host nation.
‘A couple of weeks ago, I did not really know if they were going to send anybody. I am delighted that I am going – I think everybody wants to go without using a host nation place.
‘I think if I am in good shape and playing well then it is possible to qualify, but it is going to be difficult with only two places available.’
Two spots are up for grabs in each of the men’s and women’s competitions at the final world Olympic Qualification Tournament in Qatar.
TWO Horsham Table Tennis Club youngsters have been called up for the England Schools side after impressing at a top championships.
Vinal Patel and Daniel Barna will represent their country at next month’s English Schools Internationals, along with Katie Cheer – a Crawley TT member who also trains at the Elite Table Tennis Centre at Greenway School in Horsham.
Superb displays at the English Schools Championships in Doncaster saw Daniel reach the semi-final of the Under-16s and Vinal the semis of the Under-19s, while Katie made it all the way to the Under-13s final.
The reward for the trio is a place in the respective England Schools age groups for a home nations tournament held in Guernsey at the end of June.
Vinal beat second seed Jamie Davis and first seed Bradley Tuttle but lost to Michael Ho in the semis.
Daniel’s mother Maria said: “He was delighted, he didn’t believe he would ever represent England. Like every sports person he hopes to go and win the event but I dare say just to win some of his games would be good.
“This is the best he’s ever done in a schools event but he reached the final of a four-star event in Cheltenham in April so his game has definitely stepped up a level recently.”
The young Sussex stars are also getting ready to compete in the next of a series of competitions to be held at K2, Crawley on June 16 which is expected to be the strongest yet.
Australia’s Miao Miao and Jian Fang Lay are set to make history in London after being selected for their fourth Olympic Games.
The pair have been Australia’s table tennis stalwarts since Sydney 2000 and like Leisel Jones in the swimming, they will become Australia’s first athletes in their chosen sport to compete at four Olympics.
As a 22-year-old at the Athens Games, he became the first Australian male to win matches in both the singles and doubles events.
He then made further history when he reached the third round of the singles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“My Olympic experience will definitely help me in London,” the 29-year-old from Melbourne said.
“In Athens I was overawed by the whole experience of being at an Olympics and in Beijing I think I really learned from that.
“I stayed away from the hype and focused on my competition and played some of the best table tennis of my life.
It’s anticipated that a further two Australian athletes (one female and one male) will be nominated for selection at the conclusion of the Final World Olympic Qualification Tournament in May.