Controvesy caused decision made by the Brazilian Table Tennis Federation (CBTM) about the third player for the team event at the Olympic Games. The South American country just qualified with two men and women to the singles event at the Olympic: Gustavo Tsuboi, Hugo Hoyama, Ligia Silva and Caroline Kumahara.
However, Brazil was the men and women Latin American team that got best results at the World Team Championships held in Dortmund in March, so it won the right to compete in the team event at the Olympics. Therefore, CBTM had to nominate a player for each team to complete the squad. Possible players for the men team were Cazuo Matsumoto and Thiago Monteiro. Matsumoto competed at the Latin American Olympic Qualification Tournament but he couldn't book a place in London, while Monteiro won the recent Latin American-Cup held in Costa Rica. Finally, CBTM chose Monteiro to complete the men team.
In the case of the women team, CBTM had to decide between Jessica Yamada and Gui Lin. Yamada, May's world ranking 247, has represented Brazil since she was U-13 and has won many titles for her country but her best achievement has been the gold medal won at the Latin American Championship this year. On the other hand, Gui Lin, May's world ranking 258, has represented Brazil since this year because she recently obtained the Brazilian nationality. After analysing different aspects of the players, CBTM decided to send Gui Lin to London.
CBTM's decision wasn't well received by some people in Brazil and much less by Jessica Yamada, who told a Brazilian sport newspaper that she abandoned her studies to focus on her targets: London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016. Besides, Yamada explained that she took part of the whole "Olympic cycle" what means to participate at the South American Games, also known as ODESUR Games, Pan American Games, World Team Championship, Olympic Qualification Tournament and other competitions.
The Brazilian player said that Lincon Yasuda, women team's Brazilian coach, explained reasons of their decision but she remarked that she respects them but she doesn't understand them. The Brazilian coach explained that the world ranking wasn't a criterion to make the decision. He confessed that it was very difficult to decide because both players have shown many virtues in the last two years. About Yamada, Yasuda said that she grew up as a player mentally, physically and technically and about Gui Li, the coach said that although she couldn't compete for Brazil, she participated in the whole senior and U-18 national team programm and considers that the Chinese-born player is superior to the other players in the team.
Gui Lin is 18 years old and moved to Brazil six years ago. Since 2008 Hugo Hoyama has been her trainer and the player didn't suffered any defeat in the Brazil Cup Circuit. Yasuda added that CBTM thinks to prepare Lin for the Olympic Games which will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
This isn't the first time that a Latin American country adds a Chinese player to its team. We can see the case of Dominican Republic, whose men team is led by Ju Lin and the women team by Wu Xue. Argentina has the Chinese-born Liu Song, who is the current Pan American champion. However, this phenomenon is repeated in other parts of the world. The mayor example is Singapore, whose men and women team is made up only by Chinese-born players such as Feng Tianwei, Gao Ning, Li Hu, Wang Yuegu, Li Jiawei, among others. Netherlands, European champion, is led by Li Jiao and Li Jie and we also can mention other (women) teams with Chinese-born players in their squads such as Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Australia, Austria, etc.
Photo and info. source: ahebrasil.com.br - gazetaesportiva.net