Chinese table tennis coach Yao visit Pakistan after 30 years

KARACHI – Chinese table tennis coach Yao Zhen Xu, who changed fortunes of Pakistan players during his three-year coaching stint from 1975 to 1977, arrives here on October 4 on the invitation of the Pakistan Table Tennis Federation (PTTF) on a short visit to deliver lectures on the game. “The veteran coach has acceded to our request and will arrive here from Bangkok on a four-day visit,” PTTF president SM Sibtain, said on Monday. He added that during his four-day stay in the country, the coach would deliver lectures in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

Yao Zhen Xu, 68, will be visiting Pakistan after almost three decades. The last time he came was in 1986 during the Asia Cup Table Tennis Championship held in the city. He has also served as vice-president and general secretary of the Chinese Table Tennis Federation and chairman technical committee of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). “The PTTF will bear the cost of his domestic travelling and local hospitality,” Sibtain added.

It is pertinent to mention that the players who were groomed by the Chinese expert still hold him in high esteem. It was his training that helped Pakistan finish among the top six of Asia in 1984 and Farjad Saif`s appearance at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where the sport made its Olympics debut. The batch that learnt finer points from him among others include brothers Javed Hayat and Sohail Hayat, Javed Ghaffar, Arif Nakhuda, Arif Khan, Irfanullah, the late Shaheen Lateef, Munsarim Saif. Former national champion Farjad Saif was the youngest trainee. The woman’s who learnt finer points among others include Shakoor sisters Rubina, Seema and Nazo, Naheed Waris and Farzana Feroz.

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