US Olympic table tennis teams set
MARKHAM, Ontario (AP) Kanak Jha, 2012 Olympian Timothy Wang and Jiaqi Zheng won the final spots on the U.S. Olympic table tennis teams Sunday in the North American Olympic trials.
Jha, from Milpitas, California, who will turn 16 in June, beat Wang 11-5, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9, to secure the second and final singles spot on the men's team. Yijun Feng of Atlanta took the first spot Saturday.
''It was a very stressful tournament and I was very nervous the entire weekend,'' said Jha, who moved to Sweden last summer to train and practice for the Olympics. ''It was complete relief when I won today and that everything paid off. It is really amazing.''
Wang, also from Atlanta and a three-time U.S. singles champion, made the team in the third spot and will play doubles in Rio.
In an all-American women's final, Zheng beat 42-year-old Chen Wang 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 6-11,11-6 to make her first Olympic team as the third player on the squad.
''I am so excited and have been thinking about this since I got my citizenship in 2014,'' said Zheng, who was born in China. ''I have never fought as hard as I did today. She has so much experience and doesn't miss too many balls.''
Zheng, from Milpitas and the 2015 U.S. singles champion, will be the doubles player on the U.S. team, joining singles players Lily Zhang of Palo Alto, California, and Yue ''Jennifer'' Wue of Fort Lee, New Jersey.
The U.S. will field full women's and men's teams of two singles players and one doubles player for the first time ever. The women's team qualified in 2008 and 2012. Timothy Wang was the only U.S. male player in the 2012 Games.
''This is an exciting day for USA Table tennis and a huge accomplishment for our organization and for our athletes and families,'' USA Table Tennis CEO Gordon Kaye said.