Table-tennis veteran Zhuang Zedong dies of cancer

2013-02-10 10:48:55 GMT2013-02-10 18:48:55(Beijing Time)  SINA English
(Photo: Agencies)(Photo: Agencies)
(Photo: Agencies)(Photo: Agencies)

Zhuang Zedong, the Chinese veteran table-tennis player well known for his historic role in the “Ping Pong Diplomacy” in 1970s, died of colon cancer at the age of 73 at 17:06, Feb 10.

In the early 1960's, Zhuang Zedong won three world table tennis championships for his country and three team championships. The good news cheered up the whole nation and made Zhuang the hero of his people.

In 1970s, when China and the United States tried to approach each other again after decades of hostility, Zhuang unwittingly gave a brocade scarf to American athlete Glenn Cowan. It was this first act of 'Ping-pong Diplomacy' which paved the way for President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China in 1972. He was once the sports minister of China.

Zhuang was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2008 and has received 14 operations since then.

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