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Chinese young paddler Xu eyes on Rio Olympics

08-25-2012 03:10 BJT

SUZHOU, East China, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Just back home from London two weeks ago, one of China's most hopeful paddlers Xu Xin has set his eyes on the next Olympic Games in Rio four years later.

"Having stayed at the Olympic Athletes' Village and been training every day alongside with my teammates gave me mixed feelings," said the 22-year-old, a substitute of China's Olympic squad for men's table tennis team event in London.

"I've played a supporting role, which made me even more longing for a real competition in Rio 2016 as a true Olympian," he added.

World No. 3 Xu, regarded as one of the core players to lead China's next generation of men's table tennis, was seeded first at the China Open while the whole squad of China's Olympic gold-winning team is absent. He won straight matches in his first two rounds at the ITTF ProTour China Open.

He ousted South Korean youngster Cho Eon-rae 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 earlier on Friday before easing past another South Korean Kim Min-seok 11-5, 12-10, 12-10, 11-8 to make the men's singles quarterfinals in the evening.

The Shanghai paddler, who was born in Jiangsu province, said that his experience in London is more like a stimulation than a consolation.

"For the Olympians Zhang Jike, Wang Hao and Ma Long, staying in London Olympic Athletes' Village is a life-time memory," he said. "But for me, it was just a well guarded lodgment."

Xu declined to take home any mascot or other special designed souvenir for London Olympic Games since it "does not feel MY PLACE", but has decided to fight his way to Rio 2016 and to make it his own stage.

The 330,000 U.S. dollars China Open in Suzhou was Xu's first tournament after London 2012, and he also decided to make victory here as his first step en route to Rio 2016.

"I've heard that Dimitrij Ovtcharov said I was the favorite to win the men's singles title here at China Open," Xu said with a smile. "But my plan is just to win one match after another before winning the final."

Besides the singles, Xu also plays the men's doubles with the 34-year-old former world champion Wang Liqin, who advanced to the semifinals Friday afternoon after straight wins as the second seed.

It has been the fourth China Open held in Suzhou in four straight years, as all men's and women's singles titles in the previous tournaments have been collected by Chinese paddlers.

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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