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OLYMPICS/Chan sisters secure Taiwan's 2nd Olympic slot in women's tennis doubles

06/27/2024 06:16 PM
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Taiwanese tennis players Chan Hao-ching (right) and her older sister Latisha Chan play their round of 16 match in women's doubles during the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro on May 9 that year. CNA file photo
Taiwanese tennis players Chan Hao-ching (right) and her older sister Latisha Chan play their round of 16 match in women's doubles during the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro on May 9 that year. CNA file photo

Taipei, June 27 (CNA) Taiwan will have two pairs vying for the women's doubles at the Olympic Games' tennis event in Paris as Chan Hao-ching (詹皓晴) and her older sister Latisha Chan (詹詠然) officially clinched their third straight Olympic berth, the Chinese Taipei Tennis Association said Thursday.

According to the association, the International Tennis Federation confirmed Wednesday evening the Chan sisters' qualification for the event, meaning they will join the duo of Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) and Tsao Chia-yi (曹家宜) to compete in the quadrennial sports jamboree.

There are 16 entries in each doubles event.

Hsieh, ranked No. 2 in the world on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) doubles rankings as of June 24, secured her slot earlier, given that the top 10 players can partner with a compatriot ranked within the top 300.

The 38-year-old former world No. 1 decided to pair up with Tsao, 20.

Following the top 10 players, quotas are distributed to pairs according to their combined ranking, based on which the 30-year-old Chan Hao-ching, ranked No. 24 in the world, chose to team up with her sister.

Latisha Chan has struggled with medical issues and not participated in a formal tournament since Sept. 30, 2023, when the Chans won the women's doubles at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Such a long absence from the court has seen her world ranking drop from No. 35 to No. 147, but she still holds a protected ranking of No. 35.

This mechanism allows players who have not played for an extended period due to injury or illness to use their pre-injury ranking to gain entry into tournaments on their return.

Chan Hao-ching's decision to choose her sister over world No. 61 Wu Fang-hsien (吳芳嫻), whom she has paired with recently, has been questioned by observers.

Talking to the press in mid-June, Latisha Chan said she could not speak for Wu but thanked Chan Hao-ching for picking her, emphasizing that the decision was made in accordance with the rules, with the best chance of qualifying for the competition being the primary consideration.

"It means a lot to me and encourages me greatly to be able to get back on the court again," she said, adding that it is a great honor for her to represent Taiwan in Paris.

Latisha Chan, who is turning 35 on Aug. 17, has participated in three editions of the Olympics. She said Paris will be her last one.

(By Chen Jung-chen and Chao Yen-hsiang)

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