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Tokyo Olympics 2020: 12-year-old Syrian desk tennis participant content material regardless of defeat

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Table Tennis - Womens Singles - Preliminary Round - Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium - Tokyo, Japan - July 24, 2021. Hend Zaza of Syria in action against Jia Liu of Austria. — Reuters
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Desk Tennis – Ladies’s Singles – Preliminary Spherical – Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium – Tokyo, Japan – July 24, 2021. Hend Zaza of Syria in motion towards Jia Liu of Austria. — Reuters

TOKYO: The youngest athlete on the Tokyo Olympics at simply 12-years of age, Syria’s Hend Zaza mentioned simply reaching the Video games was “an achievement” regardless of bowing out within the preliminary spherical on Saturday.

Zaza, who shot to fame in a single day in her war-torn nation final 12 months by qualifying for Tokyo, misplaced to Austria’s Liu Jia 11-4, 11-9, 11-3, 11-5.

However Zaza, the youngest Olympian since 11-year-old Romanian Beatrice Hustiu competed in determine skating on the 1968 Winter Olympics, mentioned she was blissful together with her efficiency.

“Reaching the Tokyo Olympics was already an achievement. I wasn’t asked to win, I was asked to play well,” she instructed Olympics.com.

“I think I had a good performance and I learned from the loss. Hopefully in the next Olympics, there will be something in it for me.”

Liu, 39, was the European champion in 2005, 4 years earlier than Zaza was born.

“In my eyes I accomplished something. A 12-year-old girl playing against a 39-year-old and taking nine or 10 points, this is an achievement,” mentioned Zaza.

“For sure, I wanted to win and take one or two matches, but hopefully in the next Olympics.”

Zaza needed to overcome severe adversity to achieve the Olympics, the place she carried the Syrian flag in Friday’s opening ceremony.

Syria’s civil battle has killed round 500,000 folks, displaced tens of millions, and ravaged infrastructure because it began in 2011 with the repression of anti-government protests.

“The conditions where I trained in Syria were a very hard thing to me. I wished for a different floor. We didn’t have such tables nor such preparations,” mentioned Zaza.

“It’s great for us that we can play, and we are able to overcome those obstacles.

“We need to present that though we’re in the midst of the battle, we should do one thing.”

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