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Belarus table tennis veteran Samsonov withdraws from Tokyo 2020

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-07-06 15:03
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BEIJING - Six-time table tennis Olympian Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus has announced that he will not take part in this summer's Tokyo Olympic Games.

Table tennis' world governing body ITTF confirmed the 45-year-old paddler's decision without giving a reason.

Samsonov, who made his Olympic debut at Atlanta 1996, reached the men's singles semifinals in Rio 2016 but failed to win a medal.

His position in the men's singles draw of Tokyo 2020 will now be reallocated to the highest-ranked individual not yet qualified. Britain's Paul Drinkhall is next in line and is pending confirmation from his National Olympic Committee.

Drinkhall, 31, narrowly missed out on winning an Olympic spot at April's European qualification tournament, finishing in first reserve spot.

Having reached the round of 32 on home soil at London 2012, Drinkhall went one round further four years later in Rio.

The Olympic Games table tennis competition gets underway at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on July 24.

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