An 11-year-old table tennis player is set to become one of the youngest athletes to compete in the Olympic games in over 50 years.
She beat 42-year-old Lebanese player Mariana Sahakian in the women’s singles event to qualify for the spot in the games.
#Syria-n 11-years-old Hend Zaza’s qualified 4 Tokyo2020 Olympic after winning #WestAsia Olympic #TableTennis Qualification Tournament in #Jordan.
Zaza’s set 2 be 1 of the youngest athletes competing at #Tokyo2020 after defeating 42-years-old #Lebanon‘s Mariana Sahakian.@ittfworld pic.twitter.com/2aIfc6vvhu
— Emy Abbas (@emyabs) February 27, 2020
Table tennis is one of the Olympic sports without an age minimum.
According to the Olympic Committee, it is up to each International Sports Federation to set an age limit and rules for the sports.
Born on Jan. 1, 2009, Zaza will be the youngest Olympic competitor since Romanian figure skater Beatrice Hustiu and the fifth-youngest in Olympic history.
The youngest documented Olympic medalist was 10-year-old Greek gymnast Dimitrios Loundras who competed in the first modern Games in Athens in 1896, according to the International Olympic Committee.
Loundras won a bronze medal in the team parallel bars.
Zaza will also be the first Syrian ever to compete at an Olympic table tennis event, the New York Post reported.
She is ranked No. 155 internationally, according to CNN.
The Syrian Olympic Committee congratulated Zaza on its Facebook page.
The Olympic women’s singles table tennis tournament is scheduled to begin on July 25, and the final will take place on July 30.
Another 11-year-old, British skateboarder Sky Brown, is expected to qualify for the summer games but will turn 12 two weeks before the Tokyo Opening Ceremony.
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