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55-year-old table-tennis player wins European Games medal

June 26, 2019

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — A 55-year-old table-tennis player has won a bronze medal at the European Games, 36 years after she was a world champion for China.

Representing Luxembourg, veteran player Ni Xia Lian won 4-2 against another Chinese-born player, Yang Xiaoxin of Monaco, on Wednesday.

The victory also means Ni earned Luxembourg a spot at next year’s Olympics in Tokyo. If she goes, it would be her fifth Games.

The 31-year-old Yang was not born when Ni won world team championship gold for China in 1983.

Ni moved to Luxembourg in the 1990s, running a hotel with her husband. She kept competing, with a five-year break between 2002 and 2007, and set a record in 2017 for the longest table-tennis match at 1 hour 33 minutes.

Chinese-born players represent many countries in table tennis, including European Games gold and silver medalists, Fu Yu of Portugal and Han Ying of Germany.

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