21 May 2024

The ITTF Americas Qualification Tournament in Lima, Peru, concluded with great excitement as ten players (five men and five women) secured their spots* for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The championships, held from May 14 to 18, saw intense competition and remarkable performances.

As anticipated, Canada’s Mo Zhang will make her fourth appearance at the Olympic Games after clinching one of the tickets in the women’s singles. The 35-year-old Canadian champion tops the list of players who qualified in the first stage of the tournament. Zhang will rely on her extensive experience from previous Olympic campaigns as she heads to Paris.

Joining Zhang on the flight to Paris is Chile’s two-time Olympian Paulina Vega, while her compatriot, Zhiying Zeng, will make her Olympic debut. Another debutant heading to Paris is Mexico’s Arantxa Cossio in the women’s singles event.

In the men’s singles, three of the four players who qualified are returning Olympians, set to make their second appearances at the Games.

However, Olympic debutant Santiago Lorenzo from Argentina, a 2018 Youth Olympian, became the first player to secure his Paris ticket in Lima. He achieved this by defeating American Nikhil Kumar 4-1 (11-9, 16-14, 11-6, 9-11, 11-3) in the first stage of the qualification on May 15.

Kanak Jha, Arantxa Cossio, Zhiyeng Zhang and Andy Pereira concluded the ITTF Americas Qualification Tournament with their tickets to Paris 2024.

Mexico’s Marcos Madrid and the United States’ Kanak Jha will return to the Olympic Games after their debuts at Rio 2016. Cuba’s Andy Pereira, who made his first Olympic appearance at the London 2012 Games, also qualified for Paris.

The 22-year-old Argentine, Lorenzo, expressed his immense joy after securing his place in Paris. “I think I still haven’t gotten over the excitement because it ended just two minutes ago. I feel tremendous happiness and am now relaxing my body after a long day. From the first match, which was tough against Nico, to this match, fortunately, I was able to handle it quite well. All the sets were very tight. Hopefully, I can enjoy these hours,” he said.

Canada’s Zhang is eager to compete in Paris after securing her spot in Lima. “I am very, very, very happy. It is finally finished. It is my fifth Olympics, and I am very happy to have qualified this time. I just want to try my best because last time I finished in the round of 16, which is my best result so far. I just want to fight this time. I do not know what is going to happen, but I am going to work hard for the Olympics,” she added.

A relieved Marcos Madrid commented: “It’s something I’ve been seeking for a long time, but the hardest part is being at the table without any expectations. I can’t be thinking about whether I’ve already won or lost. This has been a joint effort with my family throughout my career, both emotionally and financially, over these two years. We planned together to finance all of this with their support, and that gave me the motivation to keep going. Of course, if there was a qualification, they had to be there.”

* The participation of athletes in the Olympic Games is contingent upon their respective National Olympic Committees’ selection for representation at Paris 2024, as per their exclusive authority.

General News Paris 2024 Olympic Games ITTF Americas

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