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11-year-old table tennis player qualifies for Olympics

Hend Zaza Table Tennis


An 11-year-old Syrian table tennis player is set to become one of the youngest Olympians in history.

Hend Zaza, listed with a Jan. 1, 2009 birthdate by the International Table Tennis Federation, qualified for the Tokyo Games by winning the West Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament in Jordan last week, according to the federation and Syria’s Olympic Committee.

Table tennis is one of the Olympic sports that does not have an age minimum.

Zaza is in line to become the fifth-youngest known Olympic competitor in history and the youngest since Romanian figure skater Beatrice Hustiu in 1968, according to Olympedia and the OlyMADMen. The youngest documented Olympic competitor was Greek gymnast Dimitrios Loundras at the first modern Games in Athens in 1896.

Zaza is younger than Sky Brown, the 11-year-old British skateboarder who took bronze at last summer’s world championships. Brown, expected to qualify for the British team, turns 12 two weeks before the Tokyo Opening Ceremony.

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MORE: U.S. Olympic table tennis team finalized