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Congolese Endure 6-day Delay to Attend Seoul Tourney

Posted August. 22, 2009 08:49,   


Three Congolese table tennis players have been allowed to compete in extra matches at the KAL Cup Korea Open in Seoul after enduring hardship in getting to Korea.

The Republic of Congo sent the three men to the championship. They were supposed to arrive in Seoul Tuesday, the day before the event opened.

Leaving their country Friday last week, they were stranded in Kenya due to an airline strike there. The strike ended after three days, so they left for their second stopover of Bangkok Monday.

An unexpected problem also happened in the Thai capital, however. Communication problems forced them to stay there two days.

After many complications, they finally arrived in Seoul Thursday, the second day of the championship. The Congolese team was penalized with two losses for the games they failed to show up for. Though they played in a third game, all three players lost to crash out of the preliminaries.

Upon learning the hardship the Congolese players suffered to reach Seoul, the Korea Table Tennis Association allowed them to play extra games yesterday against Koreans who were also eliminated early.

An association official said, “The Republic of Congo rarely participates in an international championship,” adding, “The abilities of the three Congolese players match those of Korean middle school players.”