Table Tennis: Chen remains anxious to prove himself

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The Independent Online
THE ENGLISH national champion, Chen Xinhua, is especially anxious to prove he can still beat the world champion, Jean-Philippe Gatien, whom he meets in the European Masters Cup quarter- finals in Hanover today writes James Leigh.

He could then meet either the world No 1 from Belgium, Jean-Michel Saive, or the Olympic champion from Sweden, Jan-Ove Waldner.

The former World Cup winner from China is in the last season of a contract worth an estimated pounds 100,000 a year with the Bundesliga club, Ochsenhausen, whom he needs to impress if he is to remain competing in Germany. Chen, at 34, also needs to show he still has reason to aim for an Olympic Games debut in 1996 as his swan-song. He is desperate to defy Chinese officialdom, which vetoed his participation for Britain in the Barcelona Olympics. 'I have been training since July, but I seem to get more nervous before big matches,' Chen said. 'Perhaps it means more to me to know I can still do it.'