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Xu Xin’s childhood, wife and family

I have talked about the equipment and the playing style of Xu Xin. Because Xu Xin is my favorite player, now let’s learn about his childhood, family, and national career.

Xu Xin is the best penholder of the Chinese national table tennis team.

Xu Xin’s childhood

In 1990, Xu Xin was born into a cadre family in Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province.

Xu Xin at 5 years old
Xu Xin at 5 years old

This primary school’s table tennis team is well-known in the neighborhood. When Xu Xin was having a good time, the teacher at Shaohua Street Elementary School chose him. Xu Xin’s table tennis career began at that point.

When he first started learning table tennis, his teacher examined him and discovered that he tosses farther with his left hand than his right.

Xu Xin at a very young age (2)
Xu Xin at a very young age (2)

He is also used to kicking a ball with his left foot, therefore he was instructed to wield the racket with his left hand. Xu Xin’s grades from kindergarten to fourth grade are similarly excellent. Every week, only Sunday afternoons are off. Most of his free time is spent playing table tennis, which he did until he achieved the top of his age group in Jiangsu Province.

Xu Xin at a very young age (3)
Xu Xin at a very young age (3)
Xu Xin at a very young age (1)
Xu Xin at a very young age (1)

Xu Xin was only 11 years old at the time, making him the youngest athlete on the Jiangsu team. It took a lot of effort to place in the top six of the team competition. Xu Xin, on the other hand, made a strong showing in the 2001 Amateur Sports School South and North Finals.

After joining the Shanghai team, Xu Xin met Yao Yan, his two-year-old “big sister.” Yao Yan, who was born in Shanghai in 1988, joined the Shanghai team before Xu Xin. At the time, they were 13 and 15 years old, respectively. They didn’t have any more thoughts, just the regular teammates’ interaction.

Xu Xin and his wife (1)
Xu Xin and his wife (1)

Xu Xin won the World Junior Table Tennis Challenge team, singles, and doubles titles in 2004. In 2005, he finished second in the men’s singles at the U17 National Table Tennis Challenge.

In addition, the two were promoted to the first national team together in 2006. They grew up at the same time and are both members of the Shanghai team. Naturally, their bond is stronger than that of some of the other players.



Xu Xin naturally received crucial instruction as a pen-hold shooter with Ma Lin and Wang Hao, the two primary players of the national first team, and Xu Xin also worked very hard.

Xu Xin’s wife

Xu Xin’s wife is Yao Yan.

Xu Xin and his wife (2)
Xu Xin and his wife (2)

National player Xu Xin’s love story. His wife is the top beauty in national table tennis and has sacrificed his entire career for him.

Xu Xin and his wife (3)
Xu Xin and his wife (3)

Everyone, I believe, still has a yearning for love in their hearts. The kind of childhood sweethearts, companionship, growth together, and finally entering the palace of marriage, for example, is fascinating.

Xu Xin’s son

Xu Xin has a son. I hope that he will be the next Xu Xin in table tennis.

What we’re going to tell you today is the love story of a well-known Chinese table tennis team national player, Xu Xin, and his wife, Yao Yan.

Xu Xin and his son
Xu Xin and his son
Xu Xin and his son at home
Xu Xin and his son at home

Xu Xin has a son.

Xu Xin kid
Xu Xin kid

Xu Xin’s proposal

Xu Xin also proposed to Yao Yan at a concert by Yang Zongwei following the Olympics, officially announcing his love affair to everyone.

Xu Xin's wife
Xu Xin’s wife

Aska Yang, a Taiwanese Mandopop artist, invited Xu Xin to perform as a special guest at a concert. After his stage performance, Xu Xin got down on his knees in front of his love Yao Yan and proposed. He stated:

Xu Xin proposes to long time girlfriend Yao Yan in Shanghai
Xu Xin proposes to long time girlfriend Yao Yan in Shanghai

“We have been in love for seven years, you have been beside me accompanying me in every moment throughout these best few years of your life, we laughed together, cried together, celebrated together and been through sad times together. So I think I should do something to make you satisfied. I hope we will spend the rest of our lives together as well, will you marry me?”

How did Xu Xin meet his wife?

In 2005, Xu Xin finished second in the men’s singles at the U17 National Table Tennis Challenge, and he joined the second national squad with Yao Yan.

Xu Xin is very happy and optimist
Xu Xin is very happy and optimist

In 2006, the two were promoted to the first national team together. They grew up together and are both members of the Shanghai team. Naturally, their bond is stronger than that of some other players.

Xu Xin at a very young age (4)
Xu Xin at a very young age (4)
Xu Xin proposes to long time girlfriend Yao Yan
Xu Xin proposes to long time girlfriend Yao Yan

Yao Yan was also extremely good at the time, but he had never had particularly exceptional results, and when she was knocked out in the first round of the 2009 World Table Tennis Championships, many fans were not optimistic about her.

Why did Yao Yan choose to retire?

However, the reason that Chinese table tennis can accomplish such outstanding outcomes is that they have very stringent management practices, one of which is that they do not allow athletes to fall in love.

Xu Xin and his wife (1)
Xu Xin and his wife (1)

If a relationship between two athletes is uncovered, the two have the option of going abroad to play and not developing in China, or the two will break up. The last one is that one of them decides to leave.

As a result, Yao Yan, who was only 24 years old in 2012, decided to retire that year in order to fulfill Xu Xin’s career.

Who is Yao Yan?

Yao Yan is a former Chinese national team table tennis player. She joined the Shanghai team in 2002 and made the Chinese National second team in 2005. In October 2006, she advanced up the ranks and was named to the Chinese National team.

Yao Yan
Yao Yan

Yao Yan won the 2006 ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals in Vrsac, Serbia. She also competed in the 2007 and 2009 World Championships. She won the East Asian Women’s Singles tournament in 2009.

She officially retired from the international competitions in 2012.

Xu Xin and Ma Long

Xu Xin and Ma Long are best friends. They have the same personal coach, coach Qin Zhijian.

Xu Xin, Ma Long and coach
Xu Xin, Ma Long, and coach

Xu Xin and Marcos Madrid

They train at a young age at the training center of Shanghai.

Marcos Madrid and Xu Xin shared a campus hall for a year when Marcos was 15 and Xu Xin was 12. At this young age, Xu Xin was at Marcos’ level, which is why they were both in the same training division in China.

Did you both train every day intensively. How was this training?
Yes, we practiced very hard and the club was very good with many players. The coach was fantastic and he worked hard too, which is important in any coach. The groups were separated by playing a tournament at the end of the month to see who finished in the top 12. This was the elite group. I was lucky enough to make the top 12 each time.


So you often got to practice with Xu Xin?
Yes, pretty much every day at least once unless a rest day.



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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

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