BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Rio Olympic champions Ding Ning and Ma Long have been named the respective ITTF Female and Male Table Tennis Stars at the Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF Star Awards.


The ceremony was held in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday night, and eight awards were handed out to honor the world's best table tennis athletes.


Having dominated the international table tennis scene since his victory at the 2015 World Table Tennis Championships, world number one Ma Long was the favorite for the Male Table Tennis Star award. Also named best table tennis player in 2015, Ma becomes the first athlete to receive the title twice in a row.


"Thanks to the ITTF and the Qatar Organizing Committee for giving me this award. I'm very happy and honored to receive this award in Doha. Thanks to everyone for the recognition of my efforts and results in 2016," said Ma.


"I hope that through my efforts and those of other members of the table tennis community, we will be able to spread table tennis to more corners of the globe."


Ding Ning appears to have captured the hearts of table tennis fans and the expert panel consisting of fellow players and members of the media, who voted her best Female Table Tennis Star. Ding was inducted into the ITTF Hall of Fame together with fellow teammates Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen.


China' s Liu Jing, who claimed her third consecutive Paralympic singles gold, was named the Female Para Table Tennis Star. The award was presented by Stag International. Belgium's 16-year-old Laurens Devos took the Male Para Table Tennis Star award.


Chinese player Fan Zhendong claimed the 2016 Star Point, while the Star Coach award went to Liu Guoliang of China. Miu Hirano of Japan returned home with the 2016 Breakthrough Star title. At 16, Hirano became the youngest World Cup champion, and is the first non-Chinese ever to take home the trophy.


Egypt's Rinad Fathy was the 2016 Fair Play Star for acts of sportsmanship and honesty at the ITTF African Junior & Cadet Championships. At 2-2 and 12-11 in the Cadet Girls' Team Final, Fathy gave an edge point to her opponent that neither the umpire nor the assistant umpire saw, which resulted in the loss of her individual game. But Fathy's sportsmanship was rewarded in the end, as Egypt was crowned the eventual champion.


BEIJING Nike Air Span II UK , Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- French President Emmanuel Macron's upcoming visit to China, from January 8 to 10, is of great significance to bilateral ties, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a daily press briefing.


"This is his first state visit to China," Geng said here Friday Nike Vandal 2K UK , noting it has great significance for China-France ties.


During the visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold a series of events for Macron's state visit. The two heads of state will review the past achievement of bilateral ties, outline the direction for future cooperation in political, economic, and cultural fields Nike Flex 2018 RN UK , so as to further strengthen bilateral ties, according to Geng.


Xi and Macron will also exchange opinions on major international and regional issues, and discuss strengthening cooperation to safeguard multilateralism, build an open world economy, improve global governance Nike Odyssey React UK , and work jointly to tackle global challenges, said Geng.


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and top legislator Zhang Dejiang will also meet with Macron, Geng said.


Macron will visit the Forbidden City in Beijing. He will also visit Xi'an, capital city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, which is home to the famous Terracotta Warriors.




Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has responded to speculation suggesting he could quit the club at the end of the season Nike Epic React UK , describing the rumors as 'garbage'.


A rumour started by the Daily Mail had earlier claimed that the United boss has become 'increasingly detached' and has been spending much more time in London, where his family is still based. The story had labeled his future a 'growing concern' for club staff.


Yet when met with the inevitable questions as he faced the media on Thursday afternoon ahead of the upcoming FA Cup clash with Derby County, Mourinho defiantly denied there being any truth.


"If you want to speak about some news, I say garbage! I don't find a better word to define the talk," the 54-year-old said on the subject.


"If you want to ask me directly if I see myself next season in Manchester United Nike Air Maestro II UK , I say I see myself [here] and, as I told you when I arrived, I am going to leave when the club wants me to leave because I have no intention to leave at all," he then clarified.


"My intention is to stay and to work and to improve and to bring the club to where the club belongs. I want to stay. I don't see any reason not to stay."


Mourinho further pointed out that he is only halfway through the second year of a three-year contract.


He commented: "My desire is to stay. It's just a question of the club, the owners Nike Air Footscape UK , the board, Mr [Ed] Woodward, [and what] they all want, [if] they all are happy with my contribution and they want me to stay beyond the end of this contract."


Specifically addressing the part of the Mail's report which hinted at lessening interest in his role as United boss, seemingly indicated by more frequent trips 'home' to London Nike Air More Money UK , Mourinho suggested that is the most offensive part of the claims.


"I think the worst thing somebody can do to me is to put one inch of doubt in my professionalism, in my dedication to my club, to my job, to my players, to every detail related to my job Nike Zoom VaporFly UK ," he stated.


"So, yes, the garbage news affected me just on this aspect but again I repeat, I am in the middle of my contract. If I am going to sign a new one or not, of course depends on the club. But my commitment with the club is total."(Agencies)