The International Table Tennis Federation got so alarmed about the number of Chinese-born players representing other countries that it had tightened its rule. After the Beijing Games, anyone aged over 21 will be banned from ‘jumping nation’ and those aged between 18 and 21 will have to wait seven years before they can play for other countries.
Question: Do you think it is ethical for an athlete to switch nationality and play for another country?
Before you make judgment, you may want to read the story of Chire Koyama.
Born He Zhili (何智丽), she was a Chinese table tennis player. In the 1987 World Table Tennis Championship, she faced her compatriot Guan Jianhua in the women's singles semi-final. In another semi-final match, a North Korean player was expected to win. He Zhili did not have good track record against the North Korean. So eager to secure a trophy for the nation, the Chinese coach told He Zhili to “give way” to Guan Jianhua. He Zhili refused to follow instruction. She beat Guan in the semi-final and went on to win the championship.
Unfortunately, He Zhili was dropped from the 1988 Olympic squad. The reason given by the coach was that she was ‘overage’. (She was 24!) The distraught He Zhili migrated to
In the 1994 Asian Games held in
Chire Koyama (far side) vs. Deng Yaping