He Zhili

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He Zhili (Chire Koyama)
Native name何智丽
Nationality China, then  Japan
Born30 September 1964
Shanghai, China

He Zhili (simplified Chinese: 何智丽; traditional Chinese: 何智麗; pinyin: Hé Zhìlì; born 30 September 1964 in Shanghai)[1], also known by her married name Chire Koyama (小山 ちれ, Koyama Chire), is a former table tennis world champion from China[2] who later naturalized as a Japanese citizen and represented Japan under her married name.


Asian Games[edit]

Representing China as He Zhili, she was the runner-up in both singles and doubles at the Seoul Games in 1986. Koyama won the 1994 Asian Games singles title in Hiroshima, Japan playing for her adopted country.[2]

Asian Championships[edit]

She won gold in singles and silver in mixed doubles at the 7th Asian Championships held in 1983 in Islamabad, Pakistan.[2]

World Championships[edit]

Representing China, she won the singles and team gold[3] [4] during the 1987 World Championships in New Delhi, India.[2] However, she left the national team soon after as a result of her decision to not throw away matches to her teammates.[5] The 1987 world championship semi-finals featured 3 Chinese women and the Korean Yang Young-Ja. In the first semi-final, China's Dai Lily led 18-12 in the final set but she blew the lead and lost 21-18 to Yang Young-Ja. It is alleged that the Chinese coaches (Zhang, Xielin) thought that Guan Jianhua had a better chance of beating Yang Young-Ja in the final, and ordered He Zhili to lose the semi-final. She refused to obey the order and won the match. The Chinese coaches had no option but to support her in the final to increase the country's tally of medals. He Zhili was brilliant in the final and beat Yang Young-Ja. But she left the team because of the episode and migrated to Japan.

Olympic Games[edit]

Koyama represented Japan at the 1996 Atlanta Games and 2000 Sydney Games.[2] She reached the quarter final stage (singles) in both games.[1]


He Zhili married and later divorced, Koyama Hideyuki, a Japanese national and settled in Japan.[5] She adopted her husband's surname (her given name “Chire” is the Japanese pronunciation of the same Chinese Characters of “Zhili”).[5]


  1. ^ a b Chire Koyama Sports Reference. Retrieved 9 March 2011
  2. ^ a b c d e Koyama Chire International Table Tennis Federation. Retrieved 9 March 2011
  3. ^ "1987 Swaythling Cup results" (PDF). Table Tennis England.
  4. ^ "a Special Correspondent, Delhi. "Chinese win yet again." Times, 25 Feb. 1987, p. 37". Times Digital Archive.
  5. ^ a b c Should we pardon Koyama Chire? by Hu Ziwei Danwei 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2011