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Lily Zhang, Kanak Jha are first two U.S. Olympic table tennis qualifiers

Table Tennis - Olympics: Day 3

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08: Lily Zhang of the United States competes against Hyowon Suh of Korea during Round 3 of the Women’s Singles Table Tennis on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 3 on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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Olympic veterans Lily Zhang and Kanak Jha are the first two U.S. table tennis qualifiers for the Tokyo Games.

Zhang, 23, and Jha, 19, qualified as the top Americans in the world rankings, according to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. Zhang is 28th; Jha is 25th.

Zhang, who made her first national team at 12, debuted at the 2012 London Games at age 16, dropping her opening match.

She improved in Rio, winning twice to mark the best U.S. singles finish at those Games. The U.S. has zero Olympic table tennis medals, though Zhang and Jha earned Youth Olympic bronze medals

Four years ago, Jha was the youngest member of the entire U.S. Olympic team and the first American born in the 2000s to qualify for an Olympics. He lost opening matches in singles and team events in Rio.

The U.S. Olympic table tennis team will eventually include three men and three women.

MORE: Athletes qualified for 2020 U.S. Olympic team

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