Ni Xialian of Luxembourg qualified for her fifth Olympic Games at the Minsk 2019 European Games ©Minsk 2019

Four-time Olympian and 1983 world champion Ni Xialian of Luxembourg is one of six table-tennis players to secure a place at the next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo after competing at the European Games here. 

The 55-year-old Ni defeated Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin 11-3, 3-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 in the women's singles to earn a bronze medal and reach what will be her fifth Olympics. 

Chinese-born, but now representing Luxembourg, the former world champion first appeared at Sydney 2000. 

She has since competed at Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016. 

"Before, I didn't care if I got to the Olympics or not because I got it too easy," Ni said.

"But this time I really wanted it.

"Third place is a great result for me. 

"I'd never dreamed of winning the tournament and I'm fully satisfied with my result."

The top three table tennis players in the men and women’s singles here will now travel to Tokyo 2020, with Portugal's Yu Fu the winner in the women’s final.

She overcame Germany's Han Ying 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7.

It was an intriguing contest in the men’s competition, with Germany’s seven-times European champion and world number six Timo Boll coming up against Jonathan Groth of Denmark.

Despite his opponent being 12 places above him in the world rankings, Groth took the first game 11-6.

Boll responded with a narrow 12-10 victory before Groth again took the lead after triumphing in the third game 14-12.

From there, however, Boll asserted his dominance, winning the last three games 11-9, 11-6, 11-4.

Though still younger than Ni, 38-year-old Boll spoke of his chances of making Tokyo 2020.

"It's far away," he said.

"When you are older every day is a competition. 

"There are a lot of events before and I'll try to focus on them. 

"I'll try to survive till the Olympic Games."

The final spot at Tokyo 2020 went to Ukraine’s Tomislav Pucar, who only lost one game to Ukraine’s Kou Lei in a bronze-medal match that ended 11-2, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-2.

Table tennis at Minsk 2019 is due to continue tomorrow with the men and women's team events.