An eleven-year-old Syrian girl will compete in the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after winning the West Asia Olympic Table Tennis Qualification Tournament in Jordan last week. Hend Zaza won the gold medal after beating 42-year-old Lebanese player Mariana Sahakian 4-3 in the women’s singles event.
Before the tournament, Zaza was ranked 155th in the world. That is her personal best and is set to change after her victory. Born on 1 January 2009, she is the youngest athlete to have qualified for the Olympics, according to Time24 News.
In Tokyo, table tennis matches will take place from 25 July to 7 August.
In the men’s event in Jordan, Saudi Arabia’s Ali Al-Khadrawi defeated Lebanon’s Daoud Shihab 4-1 in the final to reserve his place at the Olympics. In both the men’s and the women’s qualifying event, only the winners will be heading for Tokyo.
However, according to the BBC, Japan’s Olympic Minister has said that the 2020 Games could be postponed until later in the year amid fears about the coronavirus outbreak. Both Japan and the International Olympic Committee insist that they are committed to running the event as scheduled.