Radio France Internationale published an article on the withdrawal of China’s table tennis players from the 2017 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Platinum China Open, which was held on June 22-25. Several of the male table tennis players on China’s national team suddenly withdrew from an international competition in protest over the removal of their chief coach. Following the incident, the male table tennis team issued a public apology letter. Upon a request from the ITTF, the General Administration of Sports agreed to launch an investigation into the issue. The general public was not happy with the answer that China’s Table Tennis Association gave as to the reason for the change in the coaching line up. In Chengdu, the walls inside the subways were quickly covered with notes in which people posted their support for the table tennis players. Some of the posted notes read, “When you walk out of the competition site, you are still a role model,” and “We are wherever you are.” Some of the pictures on the wall were shared on social media but were quickly deleted. On June 29, an announcement was issued that the male table tennis players were not going to participate in the ITTF World Tour Platinum Australia Open. This time the announcement was not issued by the players or the coaches but rather, it came from China Table Tennis Association.
Radio France Internationale, June 25, 2017
BBC Chinese, June 29, 2017