Fair play prize follows table tennis ‘rampage’

Fair play prize follows table tennis 'rampage'
Penalized table tennis champ Zhang Jike. Photo: ITTF/Ina Fassbender
A fair play award is to be established using the cash penalty imposed on table tennis champion Zhang Jike after he celebrated his World Cup final win by kicking down advertising hoardings, Lausanne-based governing authorities for the sport said on Wednesday.

The annual prize funded from the Chinese star's $45,000 penalty will reward players for their goodwill on and off the table tennis court, said the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), headquartered in the Swiss city.
Zhang was ordered to forfeit the prize money for a moment of "madness" after beating compatriot Ma Long in the men's World Cup final on October 26th.
Zhang rampaged around the hall and kicked in the boards bearing the names of two key sponsors.
"The ITTF encourages all players to show strong emotions when playing table tennis," ITTF president Thomas Weikert said.

"Unfortunately, Zhang Jike showed destructive and negative emotion after his Men's World Cup victory, which left the competition jury no option, but to fine him or to disqualify him", Weikert said.

"We are glad that we kept his title, as it was a brilliant performance by the Olympic champion," Weikert added.
Zhang acknowledged that his loss would go to a good cause.

"I am happy that the money will be offered to a fair play award," he said.

"This will give a good example to the younger players."

The exact details of the award will be announced in the near future, the ITTF said.

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