Sunday, August 17, 2008

A True Olympic Heroine ...Zhang Ning

Did any of you watch this fantastic match between Reigning World #1 and World Champion Xie Xingfang and the Defending Champion of the Women's Singles event from the last Athens Olympics, Zhang Ning?

This was the only all Chinese Final in Badminton in Beijing.

It was a battle between the younger queen and much older "mother of the Chinese team ". Xie is 27 while Zhang is 33.
Zhang Ning was playing with a heavily strapped right thigh and have been having a serious knee
problem for the last couple of years. She was struggling to come to terms with her constant injuries. Xie has no such injuries we know of.
When the match got underway, I noticed a very confident and smiling Zhang Ning on court while Xie appeared very tense.
In terms of skill level, both are equal, pretty much the same with most of the top elite players.
But with so much at an Olympic GOLD would require more than just skill and
physical fitness to truimph.
It was to be a battle of the toughest that can never be seen fully.
And that battle has nothing to do with who your opponent is.
It is essentially a battle within your own mind about yourself first.
Zhang Ning proved to be mentally stronger when it mattered.
She won the 1st game, lost the 2nd and in the decider even when Xie levelled to 16 all, she kept
her focus and went on a final attack to clinch the GOLD.
To be an Olympic Champion that 1st time at age 29, was a huge achievement already.
To repeat that feat, 4 years later and older, puts her in the realm of the Badminton Legends forever.

Top photo: [ source Badzine ]

Bottom photo: [ Beijing Olympics website ]


nanie said...

hi, i would like to contact you as i need some help in contacting an ex tchr mr balbir singh.Please email me

uncle dick said...

hello Nanie,
So you're a former student of his.
Was it at NJC,Balestier or elsewhere?
Sure...Ill contact you by email.