Reed, Ping advance as U.S. women's pair

Updated: July 14, 2004, 8:57 PM ET

ATLANTA -- Whitney Ping would love to help Jasna Reed replace the Olympic medal she lost when Serb troops stormed her hometown 12 years ago.

"We don't have that much experience together," Ping said. "But we complement each other well."

The 17-year-old Ping and 33-year-old Reed earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic team Sunday by winning the North American Table Tennis doubles trials at the Adamsville Recreation Center.

Table tennis matches will be held in Galatsi, Greece, about five miles northwest of Athens.

Ping, a native of Portland, Ore., and Reed, a Chicago resident, finished the round-robin tournament 4-0 after beating the Canadian pair of Petra Cada and Marie-Christine Roussy.

Reed, born and raised in Foca, Bosnia-Herzegovina, was named Jasna Fazlic when she earned a bronze medal for Yugoslavia at the 1988 Seoul Games. She gave the medal to her grandmother, but the prized possession was lost four years later when Serb troops ordered thousands of other residents to leave their homes at gunpoint.

Ping and Reed play "kind of mid-distance" from table, between two and six feet, and complement each other's top spin.

Cada and Roussy made the Canadian team. Cada, like Reed, was guaranteed a spot in the Summer Games after advancing in singles earlier this year.

Johnny Huang and Faazil Kassam will represent Canada after going 5-0 this weekend. The U.S. team of Iliju Lupulesku, a 36-year-old Chicago resident, and 17-year-old Mark Hazinski of Mishawaka, Ind., went 4-1 to earn an Olympic spot.

Huang, already qualified in singles, is the No. 1-ranked men's player in North America and played in the 1996 Atlanta Games. Kassam is a first-time Olympian.

Lupulesku won a silver medal for Yugoslavia in Seoul. Hazinski will play in his first Olympics.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index