Zhang, Avvari reach consolation round of team table tennis


Palo Alto grad Lily Zhang is not quite finished with table tennis at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

She won't get the chance to add a medal to her collection but she has brought some attention to the sport.

The American team of Zhang and Krishnateja Avvari finished pool play with a 1-2 record on Thursday, beating Africa II in a walkover and then losing to Europe II, 2-1.

Team USA will meet Asia I in the consolation round of 16 on Friday. The Asian team consists of Uzbekistan's Regina Kim and Qatar's Abdulrahman Al Naggar.

Asia I finished 0-3 in its group. Zhang beat Kim during group play in women's singles.

After becoming the only American to compete at an Olympic Games, which she did at the 2012 London Games, Zhang had been receiving attention in Nanjing, where she put her ability to speak Chinese fluently to good use.

"It's just an amazing honor to be here," Zhang told USA Table Tennis. "Both events are huge and it's just really humbling to wear the U.S. flag and go out there and represent my country. Obviously I would love to be here."

Zhang, who will continue to play table tennis at the club level at UC-Berkeley, already has her sights set on the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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