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Local Table Tennis Star Falls Short in Olympics

After winning her first and second round matches, Ariel Hsing lost to China's Li Xiaoxia during the third and final singles match in Olympic table tennis.

 

Fremont resident Ariel Hsing, 16, was on fire Saturday and Sunday during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. 

The 16-year-old Valley Christian High School student, who trains at the , won her first round table tennis match against Mexico's Yadira Silva on Saturday with scores of 11-9, 11-8, 11-3, and 11-5.

Her win advanced her to the second round against 1983 world champion Ni Xia Lian, who now plays table tennis for Luxembourg. The match seesawed: 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-5, 10-12, 12-10, with Chinese-born Ni, 49, faltering in the end. 

"Under pressure, it was the older woman who lost her composure, stomping her foot and berating herself for mistakes," Barry Bearak of the New York Times reports

Bearak reports that Ni, who had defeated Hsing two years ago, lost because of her overconfident attitude. The mother of two had reportedly only attended one of the pre-game warm-up sessions.  

“Experience is good to have, but it is not a guarantee,” Ni told Bearak. “Ariel is much improved. I thought she would miss. I tried too many difficult shots when I should have just tried to put the ball on the table.”

Hsing's win advanced her to the third round against Li Xiaoxia of China, where she ultimately lost with scores of 11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9.

In the first-round match, Li, 24, took an early 8-0 lead. Hsing reportedly came back with a fierce forehand after shrugging off her nerves, but lost by two points in the final round. 

"In the final games of the third-round match, both players were emotional, pumping their fists and swiping at the air, reacting to every point," Bearak states. 

Hsing, whose parents emigrated from Taiwan and China two decades ago, gained attention because of her friendship with billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, according to AP Writer Stephen Wade

China has won 20 of 24 gold medals since table tennis was added to the Olympic games in 1988, Wade writes. The Chinese are expected to maintain their winning streak by sweeping all four gold medals this year in the singles and team events. 

Next, Hsing will play in the team event with fellow 16-year-old teammates Lily Zhang and Erica Wu, Fox News reports. 

Zhang, 16, of Redwood City,  against 28-year-old Cornelia Molnar of Croatia.

 

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