Olympic surprise for HK women's team
The Hong Kong's women's team won a place in this summer's London Olympic Games after Lee Ho-ching's quarter-final finish at the final world qualifying tournament in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday.
The good news was confirmed by the world governing body yesterday. It had been thought that Lee's finish was not enough to win a place at the Games.
'We knew there were at least two berths up for grab at the Doha event, but it seems the final number of berths available was more than that as Lee only came seventh in Doha,' said a spokesman for the Hong Kong Table Tennis Association. 'Anyway, this is good news as we can now confirm both the men's and women's teams can go to London.'
Hong Kong's top two players - Tie Yana and Jiang Huajun - qualified in the women's singles by virtue of their world rankings, but for Hong Kong to enter the team competition at the London Games, they needed a third player.
That third team member had to qualify through either the continental qualifiers - at which Lee (pictured) failed when the tournament was held at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai last month - or the final qualifying tournament in Doha.
But even if the 19-year-old had not made it in the Qatari capital, Hong Kong still had a chance to enter the competition if the 16-team quota at the London Games was not filled after the Doha event as they were first on the reserve list.
Lee will leave today with Tie and Jiang for the Korea Open as part of their build-up for London. The men's team, comprising Jiang Tianyi, Tang Peng and Leung Chu-yan, will also compete in Incheon.