The Chinese table tennis team takes refuge in Qatar amid the outbreak of the coronavirus

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The team of almost 30 people flew to Doha after the German Open and settled in the Aspire Academy Arena ahead of the Qatari Open, which will begin on March 3.

The Qatar Table Tennis Association (QTTA) provided meals, accommodation, 15 training tables and 2,000 balls.

The death toll from coronavirus has exceeded 1,000 in mainland China, with 2,478 new cases identified Monday.

Table tennis is China’s national sport and 2020 is a crucial year with the Olympic Games which traditionally offer numerous gold medals.

“We are very grateful for all the assistance provided to us in this difficult time,” said the president of the Chinese table tennis association Liu Guoliang.

“We didn’t expect them to prepare the venue, tables and facilities for us in such a short period of time … it really warms the heart, especially during this particular period, and we really appreciate all this help from our international friends.”

Chen Meng of China was victorious in the German Open.

Chinese players Xu Xin and Chen Meng were victorious in Germany’s men’s and women’s singles events.

After Qatar, the world championships will begin in Busan, South Korea, on March 22nd.

“When I learned about the coronavirus in China, our concern was that the Chinese national team was unable to play the Qatar Open,” said QTTA president Khalil Al-Mohannadi.

“For me it is not the Qatar Open and not the world championships without China. We are all part of the ITTF family and we are doing it as friends for the whole table tennis family.”

Xu Xin was victorious at the German Open in Magdeburg.

The Chinese team has been inundated with invitations from other table tennis federations, including Germany, Austria and Japan, according to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

“It doesn’t matter if it’s China or any other country, when there’s a big disaster or a problem, we always do our best to help our brothers and sisters,” said Steve Dainton, ITTF CEO.


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