11-year-old table tennis player qualifies for Olympics

Eleven-year-old table tennis player Hend Zaza (Photo: olympics.nbcsports.com)

An eleven-year-old Syrian table tennis player has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, making her the youngest to compete this year. 

She is Hend Zaza. Zaza qualified after winning the West Asia Olympic qualification tournament in Jordan last week. 

She is ranked 155th in the world and defeated 42-year-old  Mariana Sahakian from Lebanon 4-3 in the women’s final in Amman.

“Congratulations, our champion Hend to the Tokyo Olympics 2020,” the Syrian Olympic Committee said on its Facebook page.

Zaza is a few months younger than Sky Brown, the British skateboarder who will turn 12 two weeks before the start of the Games.

The youngest documented Olympic medalist was 10-year-old Greek gymnast Dimitrios Loundras, who won bronze in the team parallel bars at the first modern Games in Athens in 1896.

The Olympic women’s singles table tennis tournament is scheduled to begin with the preliminary rounds on July 25, with the final to take place on July 30.