A 1983 world champion will become the oldest Olympic table tennis playerever

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Ni Xia Lian, a 55-year-old, Chinese-born table tennis player for Luxembourg, is set to become the oldest Olympian ever in her sport.

Ni earned Luxembourg a quota spot at the 2020 Tokyo Games by bagging bronze at the European Championships on Wednesday. Ni will fill that spot and compete at her fifth Games next summer, according to Luxembourgs table tennis federation.

Nis first senior medal at a global competition came with China at the world team championships in 1983.

Ni moved to Luxembourg in the 1990s, running a hotel with her husband. She kept competing, with a five-year break between 2002 and 2007, and set a record in 2017 for the longest table-tennis match at 1 hour 33 minutes.

She would already be the oldest Olympic table tennis player if not forHe Zhiwen, who was born in China and competed for Spain with the nickname Juanito at the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He retired after Rio at age 54, according to the International Table Tennis Federation.

Ni will be 57 next summer, older than any previous female Olympians outside of archery, equestrian, shooting and art competitions, according to the OlyMADMen. Her best Olympic finish was ninth in Sydney in 2000.

Chinese-born players represent many countries in table tennis, including European Games gold and silver medalists,Fu Yuof Portugal andHan Yingof Germany.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

MORE:Most experienced Olympian in history retires at age 72

Tags:LuxembourgNi Xia LianolympicsTable TennisNi Xia Lian

Mothers Day: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Allyson Felix win historic golds at worldchamps

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Two years ago,Shelly-Ann Fraser-Prycewent into labor while watching the womens 100m final at the world championships. On Sunday, at the next edition of the biennial worlds, she became the first mom to win an Olympic or world 100m title in 24 years and the oldest woman (mother or not) to do it at age 32.

Fraser-Pryce andAllyson Felixmade it an unforgettable night for athlete moms, each earning record-breaking gold medals in Doha.

Fraser-Pryce, a 32-year-old Jamaican with Superman ice cream-colored hair, became the oldest woman to win an Olympic or world 100m title, two years after having her first child,Zyon.

The females keep showing up, Fraser-Pryce said on the BBC while holding Zyon across her chest. Hoping that I can give inspiration to all the women who are thinking about starting a family or currently starting a family and wondering if they can come back.

Fraser-Pryce, up to six combined Olympic and world 100m titles, became the first mom to win the sports marquee sprint at an Olympics or worlds sinceGwen Torrencein 1995. She clocked 10.71 seconds, fastest time in the world this year, beating BritDina Asher-Smithby .12. IvorianMarie-Josee Ta Loutook bronze.

Rio gold medalistElaine Thompsonwas fourth, losing a 100m final to her countrywoman for the first time.

It was in Rio that Fraser-Pryce took bronze in the 100m with an injured toe, after golds in 2008 and 2012. There was reason to doubt if she could remain a podium finisher going into her 30s. And that was before pregnancy meant she would take 20 months before her next meet in 2018.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was sitting on my bed for like two hours, and I didnt go to practice in the morning because I didnt know what to do, Fraser-Pryce said. I made a vow that I was coming back.

On Aug. 6, 2017, Fraser-Pryce watched the world womens 100m final on TV. I remember sitting there, and I went into labor because I was watching the race, she said. So I had my son the next day, like in the evening during the medal [ceremony]. So that was my gold medal.

Zyon came via C-section on Aug. 7, 2017. Fraser-Pryce went three or four months before lifting a weight. Once she returned to the track, she skipped practices here or there due to pain.

I wouldnt trade it for anything else, she said. Because it has definitely made me tougher, and stronger and more committed.

In her first meet back in 2018, Fraser-Pryce clocked 11.52 seconds, eight tenths off her best. She raced eight times before breaking 11 again, all while breastfeeding for the first 15 months.

This year, shes run in the 10.7s a total of four times, becoming the fastest mom in history. Her coach told her earlier that shes still not all the way back.

Zyon has been my strength, my family, my husband, they have been my strength, she said. When everybody else doubted, they never did.

The U.S. failed to put a woman in the top four at a worlds for the first time in history. National championTeahna Danielswas seventh.

Defending championTori Bowiewithdrew before the semifinals after struggling coming back from injury and dealing with a coaching change. Fellow Rio OlympianEnglish Gardnerpulled up with a leg injury in her semifinal, her latest poor luck with health. Its very possible the U.S. could also miss the medals in the 200m and 400m, too, unprecedented for the worlds greatest track nation.

At 33, she broke her tie withUsain Boltfor the most world titles, grabbing her 12th overall and first as a mom as part of the first mixed-gender 4x400m relay.More on that here.

Felix said she has spoken a lot with Fraser-Pryce.

I got goosebumps watching her run, she said. Shes had a hard road, too, and really keeps encouraging me. Her first year wasnt the best, but the second year, I mean, shes better than ever. Shes leading the way.

In other events, AmericanChristian Taylorearned his fourth world title in the triple jump, adding to his two Olympic golds.

Taylor fouled his first two jumps, registered a clean one on his third to stay alive and then posted the two best marks of 17.86 and 17.92 meters. Taylor relegated countrymanWill Clayeto silver and a lower podium spot for a sixth time. Claye owns seven total Olympic or world silver or bronze medals, but no golds.

Russian pole vaulterAnzehlika Sidorovacleared 4.95 meters on her third attempt to relegate AmericanSandi Morristo her third straight silver medal at a global outdoor championship. Sidorova will hear the IAAF anthem at her medal ceremony since Russia is still banned from sending teams to international track and field meets for its doping problems.

In semifinals, American contendersDonavan BrazierandClayton Murphyadvanced to Tuesdays final. That final will lack two-time Olympic champion and world-record holderDavid Rudisha(out the last two years, partly due to injury), the defending world championPierre-Ambroise Bosseof France and the fastest man this year, BotswanasNijel Amos(Achilles).

Brazier, third-fastest in the world this year, won his semifinal in 1:44.87. Murphy, the Rio Olympic bronze medalist, advanced as a time qualifier after placing third in his semifinal in 1:44.48.

The 200m favoriteNoah Lylescruised in his world championships debut, easing up to take second in his first-round heat in 20.26 seconds and advancing to Mondays semifinals. He ran in silver hair as an homage to Dragon Ball Z character Goku, whose hair turns silver at his final stage, Ultra Instinct.

Lyles owns the worlds fastest time this year 19.50 seconds which is .23 faster than anybody else in the field has clocked in 2019.

NBC Olympics senior researcherAlex Azzicontributed to this report from Doha.

MORE:No Christian Coleman-Noah Lyles showdown at track worlds

Tags:Anzehilka SidorovaChristian TaylorClayton MurphyDonavan BrazierElaine ThompsonEnglish GardnerJamaicaNoah LylesolympicsSandi MorrisShelly-Ann Fraser-PryceTori Bowietrack and fieldWill ClayeWorld Track and Field ChampionshipsAnzehilka SidorovaChristian TaylorClayton MurphyDonavan BrazierElaine ThompsonEnglish GardnerNoah LylesSandi MorrisShelly-Ann Fraser-PryceTori BowieWill Claye

Allyson Felix breaks Usain Bolt record for world titles, gets first gold as amom

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Allyson Felixs first gold medal as a mom came with this added significance, too she broke her tie withUsain Boltfor the most gold medals in world championships history with 12.

So special, to have my daughter here watching means the world to me, Felix toldLewis Johnsonon NBCSN. Its been a crazy year for me.

Felix, 33 and the most decorated female track and field athlete at the Olympics with nine medals among four Games, was part of the winning U.S. quartet in the first world championships mixed-gender 4x400m relay, an event that makes its Olympic debut next year. She split 50.4 seconds.

Wil London III, Felix,Courtney OkoloandMichael Cherrycombined to clock a world record 3:09.34 in the young event, prevailing by 2.44 seconds over Jamaica. Bahrain took bronze. Felix already had the record for world championships medals; shes now up to 17 overall. As for beating Bolt?

This is a different event, so I dont really look at it in that way, Felix said.

She had daughterCamrynon Nov. 28 via emergency C-section at 32 weeks. Felix had severe preeclampsia and, six weeks postpartum, began power walking (with difficulty). Camryn, born at 3 pounds, 7 ounces, spent her first 29 days in the NICU.

This was my entire world. staying in the NICU all day & night watching my baby girl fight, was posted on Felixs social media in July. I can still hear the beeping and alarms of the machines. the uncertainty. The fear. There were a lot of days i wasnt sure this was going to be possible. I worked harder than i even knew i could. there were tears, frustration and doubt. At times it felt like everything was against me.

Felix also saw her Nike contract expire after seven years, ending in December 2017 without being renewed, at least in part over pay protection for pregnancy.

Felix announced after placing sixth in the 400m at the USATF Outdoor Championships in July (her first meet as a mom) that she signed a new apparel deal with Athleta. The contract and compensation is consistent whether Felix is or is not competing, including full protection during maternity, according to the company.

Felix made the world team solely in the relay pool. Its her ninth world team, breaking her tie withAmy Acufffor the most for an American, according to the OlyMADMen. Next year, Felix goes for her fifth Olympics and to breakMichael Johnsons record as the oldest Olympic 400m medalist.

Felix repeated in interviews Sunday night that this abbreviated season was a stepping stone.

Making it through this year with so much going on, I think its going to make next year feel a lot easier, she said.

Tags:Allyson Felixolympicstrack and fieldUsain BoltWorld Track and Field ChampionshipsAllyson FelixUsain Bolt

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