Ping-pong diplomat's battle with cancer worsens
Updated: 2012-09-17 17:32
A Chinese table tennis great is in a serious condition with colorectal cancer, according to multiple media sources.
A Xinhua reporter, Tang Shizeng, published a photo on his Sina Weibo of the 72-year-old Zhuang Zedong at a Beijing hospital ward on Sunday, with his wife at his bedside.
Zhuang Zedong receives an intravenous infusion at a Beijing hospital on Sunday. [Photo/Tang Shizeng]
"Zhuang's condition grew worse suddenly in July. The hospitals he used to live in in Beijing and Shanghai have all turned down his hospitalization request. He suffers 7/8 liver necrosis, and barely survives with a vein and a bile duct," wrote Tang.
Zhuang Zedong is a three-time world men's singles champion, winning a horde of table tennis events in the 1960s. His chance meeting with a US table tennis player, Glenn Cowan, during the 31st World Table Tennis Championships in 1971, later referred to as Ping-pong Diplomacy, was deemed to have led to the thawing of the icy China-US relations since 1949. He married his second wife, Chinese-born Japanese Sasaki Atsuko, in 1985.
In August 2008, Zhuang was diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer, with complications in his liver and lungs.