Zhang Yining Confirmed Her Retirement

Zhang Yining confirmed her retirement
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Yesterday, March 31, 2011, Zhang Yining left for the United States to start her English Studies in the University of Wisconsin for ten months. Prior to departure, Zhang Yining finally confirmed her official retirement in front of the media.

“I am retired after a long period of time. I feel good and I want to give some opportunities for smaller players.” Zhang Yining softly said, making her TT career into a complete end.

The retirement of Zhang Yining also marks the end of an era in Nuping. The question now is who will replace Zhang Yining in the team – among the younger players, who is Zhang Yining most optimistic with?

Guo Yue is currently regarded as the most popular female TT player but she is also perceived to be facing such a difficult moment. Zhang Yining thinks that what Guo Yue really needs to do is to change her mind set. “I think Guo Yue’s current state is normal. She just needs something to boost her confidence and rise above the situation. She really needs to change her mind set and focus more on her capabilities.”

For Li Xiaoxia, Zhang Yining felt that her situation is better since Li Zhun is constantly at her side giving guidance. “Li Xiaoxia is technically better because there is someone who keeps her guided.”

With regards to Guo Yan, Zhang Yining thinks that her break is not caused by any chance. “Guo Yan has enough experience. She is also very competitive with her strong technical skills and I consider her as a main force among others.”

Teammates Zhang Yining and Ding Ning have a very good relationship. “Ding Ning has been a very good player from past to present, but I can see her under a lot of setbacks. Actually, I really hope that she will play good.”

Liu Shiwen had a big fall in the world championships last year in Moscow. Zhang Yining thinks that it was caused by pressure. “She was really in a particular kind of pressure where she has to defend our country in a very short period of time without me or Wang Nan."

With her retirement from Nuping, China has encountered several difficulties including their loss last year in Moscow. But Zhang Yining still considers the Chinese team to be powerful and there are no questions about it. “Nuping is still very powerful. This loss (of a sister) is just temporary. In fact, even without me, they can still get the championships.”

Zhang Yining will definitely be missed in the TT arena after her retirement from the National Team. Now, that the female lead player has retired, do you still think some player from Nuping will win the WTTC in Rotterdam or in the London Olympics? Who do you think suits best to replace Zhang Yining?

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Hiroji Satoh of Japan was the first player to win a WTTC using covered thick sponge

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