Feature: Chinese companies help Cuba develop table tennis

Updated: December 15, 2021 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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HAVANA, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Cuban table tennis players have benefited from sports equipment donated by Chinese companies over the past few years.

Among them is Shely Delgado, who won the women's singles gold medal at the National Tennis Championship in 2019.

The 22-year-old is now training hard at Cerro Pelado center for elite athletes in Havana ahead of a regional competition slated to take place on the island next year.

"The quality of the Chinese equipment are very high," she said, adding that "our conditions for training have very much improved."

The donation included rackets, balls, tables, nets as well as footwear and clothing.

Angel Antonio Rodriguez, secretary of the Cuban Table Tennis Federation, said that the Chinese companies have not only helped Cuba with the donation of the state-of-the-art equipment but with field training in China.

"Chinese table tennis players are a global reference for us. There are many things that we can learn from them," he said.

Cuba's national table tennis team resumed training in September after an 18-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among its members is 18-year-old Adrian Perez, who will participate in a tournament in Venezuela in the coming weeks.

"I am back in action trying to get in good shape," he said. "We want to be part of the table tennis' takeoff on the island."

In the past few years, Cuban table tennis players have excelled in the 2018 Barranquilla Central American and Caribbean Games and Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

In addition, two Cuban table tennis players qualified for the Tokyo Olympics held in 2021.

Yang Longchuan, chief of the Beijing North Star in Cuba, told Xinhua that the Chinese company has been a partner of Cuba's Institute of Sports, Physical Education, and Recreation for many years.

"Taking the Cuban athletes to China is aimed to enhance their skills through face-to-face exchanges with the Chinese athletes, and therefore achieve better results in further competitions," Yang said.

Editor: Duan Jing