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Japanese table tennis player Ai Fukuhara flew off to China’s Shenyang Province on Tuesday as she prepares to formally sign with Chinese club Liaoning.

Fukuhara, who will ink the deal at a press conference on Friday, decided to join Liaoning after turning down an offer from Super League rival powerhouse Beijing.

The 16-year-old Fukuhara has used Liaoning Province as a training base in the past in a lower-tier Chinese league.

“It’s a great environment for me to practice and the players are really nice to me,” said Fukuhara. I’m looking forward to it.”

Fukuhara finished in the last 16 of the Athens Olympic singles tournament last summer and hopes that playing in the toughest table tennis league in the world will help her achieve a better result at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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