Beijing, represented by Zhang Yining, Guo Yan and Ding Ning, both retained their Women�s Team title at the Chinese National Games and completed the hat-trick by overcoming Shandong in Qingdao on Monday 28th September 2009.
They recorded a three-nil victory over the host provincial team of Li Xiaoxia, Cao Zhen and Peng Luyang to clinch victory. Furthermore, they won in style; they succeeded by three matches to nil and could there be more imminent celebrations for the leading member of the team?
Close Opening Duel
Ding Ning gave Beijing the perfect start by beating Li Xiaoxia in three straight games, a score line that was perhaps somewhat harsh on the Shandong player.
In the first two games Ding Ning trailed 9-10 on both occasions and on both occasions won three points in a row to secure victory; the close successes clearly injected confidence, the third games was won rather more comfortably and it was advantage Beijing.
Zhang Yining followed suit to record a three-one victory over Peng Luyang with Guo Yan bringing matters to a conclusion by overcoming Cao Zhen in three straight games.
�The Beijing Team set new records by winning the title this year�, said Zhou Shusen, coach of the Beijing team. �We did not lose one single match on the road to defending the title, all the matches were three-nil and it�s the third time in a row that we have clinched the All China National Games Team crown.�
It was an impressive win from a very impressive trio; you just have to consider their current world rankings. Zhang Yining is at no.1, Guo Yan at no.5 and Ding Ning at no.11.
Progress for Zhang Yining
�We have this result may be possible before we came to Qingdao because we had the full squad this time and all of the three players were in their best condition�, continued Zhou Shusen. �Zhang Yining has made some progress since winning in the Beijing Olympics, Guo Yan has dealt with her weakness in her two winged attacking game whilst Ding Ning is much mature than before; she has beaten Li Xiaoxia three times in their four encounters in the Super League, so that�s why we chose her to play against Li Xiaoxia.�
The thought of Zhang Yining being a better player than she was one year ago in Beijing is a chilling concept for the rest of the world! Furthermore, there appears to be no hint of retirement.
�I believe she can continue until 2012 in London�, explained Zhou Shusen. �She is likely to get married after the All China National Games; for a girl of 29, it�s quite normal; I believe she will not abandon her table tennis career, we often see her practise as hard as before in the training hall.�
Another chilling thought for the rest of the world, even though she has won just about everything there is to win on the world stage, the desire to succeed remains.
It is that quality that made Deng Yaping a legend; it is the same quality that is putting Zhang Yining on an equivalent pedestal.