See you at 1 p.m. this Sunday.
French table tennis players Emmanuel Lebesson and Jia Nan Yuan will try to reach an improbable final in the mixed doubles table at the Tokyo Olympics.
They eliminated very early this Sunday in the quarterfinals the Hong Kong world number five Wong Chung Ting and Doo Hoi Kem after a very tough duel.
Now it's time for the Chinese pair (3rd in the world), composed of Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, who are nothing less than the world No. 2 and the world's 7th player.
🏓 French victory in Table Tennis 🇫🇷
Jia Nan Yuan and Emmanuel Lebesson win their second group match against the Hong Kong pair.
A success snatched 13-11 in the decisive set (4-3) # Tokyo2020 #JeuxOlympiques
Follow the Olympics live ▶ https://t.co/wRM6q9VOGt pic.twitter.com/hwNPN2Q7GQ
- France tv sport (@francetvsport) July 25, 2021
To speak of a huge surprise would be an exaggeration.
The pair are seventh in the world and just won a bronze medal at the European Championships last month.
The performance is no less remarkable for this duo formed only two years ago in the hope of winning an Olympic medal that they know out of reach individually.
The mixed doubles, a new Olympic event in Japan, represented a golden opportunity.
"Her big advantage is that she trains a lot with the boys"
Emmanuel Lebesson (33), ranked 40th on the men's circuit, and Jia Nan Yuan (36), 95th, have decided to pool their strengths in 2019. Naturalized French in 2011 and selected since 2018, Yuan left China in the middle from the 2000s towards the West of France.
Licensed in Poitiers (Vienne), she has been training for fifteen in La Romagne (Maine-et-Loire), a club for the elite male, with her husband, also a table tennis player of Chinese origin.
“Like me, Jia Nan is very offensive.
Her big advantage is that she trains a lot with boys, so she is rarely surprised to receive balls from men.
His level of play is very stable, ”recently explained Lebesson to Ouest-France.
For him, this will be his second Olympics.
He lost in the first round in singles five years ago in Rio.
This time he succeeded in entering the running.
Getting on the podium in mixed doubles “would be the best moment of my career in the continuity of my title of European champion in singles in 2016, my first senior national title (in 2009, at 21 years old) and my four continental podiums by team, ”he explained last April in the Gazette du Val-d'Oise.
French table tennis is looking for the third Olympic medal in its history.
The first two date back to the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 (silver for Jean-Philippe Gatien) and those of Sydney in 2000 (bronze for Gatien and Patrick Chila in doubles).