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Japanese players barred from Chinese Super League?

(Photo: ITTF)

There is a major story developing ahead of the new Chinese Super League season, with news emerging that Japanese table tennis players will not be allowed entry in the tournament’s upcoming campaign.

Japan’s Miu Hirano has made significant progress over the past couple of years and was offered a spot to play for a Chinese Super League team for the 2017 season.

However, it now looks like Miu Hirano’s hopes of competing in the upcoming season are over and a Japanese Table Tennis Association (JTTA) official believes that Japan’s rise up the table tennis ladder is the reason behind the decision:

“Three years [before an Olympic Games] is a bit too early. Japanese players are being targeted as China looks to sweep the medals”, stated the official.

The Chinese Super League has barred Japanese players from competing in the competition in the past, but the rule doesn’t normally come into effect until the year preceding an Olympic Games.

Does this rule implicate that China is maybe slightly more worried about the Japanese team than previously believed, and do you believe that the decision is in the best interest of the sport?

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