Wang Hao, China’s reigning ping pong champ, is finally allowed to have a girlfriend. Until recently, the 25-year old was banned from dating, as is common with many of China’s national athletes. His girlfriend, 23-year old Peng Luyang, is a former national ping pong champion.
“Both of them are old enough and it’s normal,” China Daily quoted Peng’s coach Qiao Yunping as saying.
Star athletes are often restricted from dating or marrying until a certain age, in the hopes of keeping them focused on their athletic careers. According to AP:
Athletes who date without permission risk being punished. In 2004, Wang started dating another fellow national team player, Fan Ying, and officials kicked Fan off the national team. Media reports said Wang avoided punishment at the time because his world ranking was much higher than Fan’s.
Kind of sounds like some Asian parents I know!