Former World Champion Eyeing Up Olympic History In Tokyo

Luxembourg’s Ni Xialian took home bronze at the 2019 European Games (Photo: ITTF)

Ni Xialian continues to stun table tennis fans across the world for her age-defying form on the international stage and isn’t planning on putting her racquet down anytime soon.

Originally from Shanghai, China, Ni Xialian (56) won Women’s Team and Mixed Doubles gold for China back at the 1983 World Championships in Tokyo. Moving to Luxembourg more than 30 years ago, she has since participated in four editions of the Olympic Games for the European nation.

Now, the 56-year-old continues to train hard as she hopes to return to the city that gifted her gold, hoping to see the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games go ahead:

“Unfortunately the situation is like this; nobody knows what can go on, what can happen. If we can do the Olympics, I think it’s good for everybody.” – Ni Xialian

Ni Xialian is a leading figure for Team Luxembourg (Photo: ITTF)

If all goes well, Ni will be the first ever athlete to have competed in an Olympic table tennis event at her age. Turning 57 in July, Ni stresses the need for a good physiotherapist to be successful in the sport at her age:

“Luckily, I have a good physiotherapist and that helps me a lot. I really need it. We cannot (go) against age, cannot (go) against nature, and so without this … care, I think it’s very difficult to continue.” – Ni Xialian

Tokyo 2020 has been postponed, and there are some doubts as to whether it will go ahead at all. But even if the Tokyo Games are cancelled, Ni Xialian hasn’t necessarily given up the idea of participating at Paris 2024,  meaning not all hope is lost for the Shanghai born table tennis player to break the Olympic record in the upcoming years.

Source: Eurosport

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