Table tennis prodigy Hend Zaza is headed for the Olympic Games, despite being at the tender age of just 11.

The Syrian table tennis prodigy will also break new ground and becoming the first Syrian — male or female — to ever compete at an Olympic table tennis event.

It's an incredible first for the new star, who is ranked 155th in the International Table Tennis Federation rankings.

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Born on January 1 2009, she is in line to be the fifth youngest competitor in history, and the youngest since Romanian figure skater Beatrice Hustiu in 1968.

The youngest documented Olympic competitor was Greek gymnast Dimitrios Loundras at the first modern Games in Athens in 1896, aged 10 years, 218 days.

Remarkably, Zaza won't be the only youngster at the games with British skateboarder Sky Brown, who was born in July 2008, set to be 12 when the games start in Japan July 24.

Talk about over achievers.

Zaza won her way into the Olympics after beating 42-year-old Lebanese player Mariana Sahakian 4-3 in the women's singles event to win the West Africa Olympic Table Tennis Qualification Tournament in Jordan.

The only issue that could stand in Zaza's way is coronavirus seeing the Games cancelled.

As the spread of continues around the world, the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organisers have come out strongly to say the Olympics will still take place.

IOC president Thomas Bach has insisted the event will go ahead as planned.


Australian Olympic Committee vice-president Ian Chesterman was reported saying no Australian athletes have indicated they want to pull out of the event despite the lingering threat of the illness.

The AOC is keeping a close eye on proceedings, but have been given assurances that the Games will proceed as planned.

Chesterman, who is also the Chef de Mission for the Australian team, is doing his best to reassure Australia's athletes about the situation.

"I've had absolutely no concerns expressed to me from any athlete," Chesterman told AAP.

"I did take the opportunity this week to write to them all … and just explain to them that we are continuing with our planning, that they need to stay calm and focus on what they can control, which is their preparation for the Games.

"We would always continue to receive the best advice in regards to what the situation is and we'll always continue to put the athletes' safety and wellbeing first.

"From our point of view, it's full steam ahead as we get ready to take the team away."