Qiao to opt for studies

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 June, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 June, 1995, 12:00am

CHINESE world number two female player Qiao Hong will retire after the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

Qiao, who is on an exhibition tour with China's nine other World Championship gold medallists, said yesterday in Hong Kong that she was tired of competition and wanted to study.

'I have been playing too much and I think it's time for me to step down,' said Qiao.

The talented 26-year-old right-hander started to play when she was just seven.

She was selected for the national squad in 1987 and has been achieving excellent results in doubles since she paired up with the world number one Deng Yaping.

'I will still try hard to gain a place in the Olympic Games in Atlanta but I think it will be my last international tournament.' Qiao said she would study languages in an Asian country after her retirement.

'I hope to study in Asia instead of Europe because I will be home-sick otherwise,' laughed the gold medallist at the recent World Championships in Tianjin.

Qiao has already decided against coaching.

'Table tennis means nothing to me now. I have no ambitions left in the sport. After all, I've been playing table tennis for two decades.' Qiao's career highlights include gold medals in the 1989, '93 and '95 World Championships, and the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992.