Olympic Gold Medalist Visits Bay Area Again
|Chen Longcan will visit Bay Area again. It has
been three years since his last visit. During the last trip, he and Khoa
Nguyen had an exhibition that attracted hundreds of fans in San
Francisco. This time, Xiao Wei, former Chinese National team member,
will come with him to have an exhibition.
Chen, one of the best pips-out players in the world, won the first table tennis gold medal for China in 1988 Seoul Olympics. He also won, with Wei QingGuang, the 1987 men's doubles world champion as well as the 1986 World Cup champion in men's singles. After he retired from the Chinese national team, he went to Japan as a coach and player for Yamaha and Nissan. In 1999, Nissan attended the First World Club Tournament. He upset then world number one player Liu Guoliang and 1996 Olympic men's doubles gold medallist Wang Tao. Chen retired from competition in November, 2000 and chose North American Team Champions in Baltimore as his last tournament. Although his team "only" won second place, he was undefeated. His USATT rating after the tournament was 2808. After that, he was invited to coach the Japanese child prodigy Fukuhara Ai for a year. He returned to China in 2002.
Chen is currently the vice chairman of Sichuan Province Table Tennis Association and the executive manager of Big Net women's team in Sichuan. His team may advance to the highest league, the Super League, in China next year.
Xiao Wei won the men's team title with Liu Guoliang and Wang YongGang in 10th Asian Championships. After retired from the Chinese National team, he was invited to player in the table tennis league in Germany. After that, he went to Japan as a coach. Xiao is currently a coach for the Big Net women's team.
In addition to the exhibition, Chen and Xiao will have two training sessions with Jackie Lee and Auria Malek at City Beach in Santa Clara as well as a general training session for Palo Alto's juniors in 2/7/2004.
Chen's tentative schedule:
The regular table tennis hours at Milpitas Sports Center is 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM every Saturday. The drop-in fee is $2 per visit. There are six Andro tables available for practice. The gym in Milpitas has wood floor, ample space, and high ceiling.
|(Left to right: Longcan Chen, Jackie Lee, Auria Malek,