19 Aug 2016

The gold medal of the Olympic Women's Team event once again went to the defending champions, China, following a sweep victory against Germany. Since 2008, the winning team in this event hasn't changed but with China facing issues on retirement, could they still be confident?

By Henry Chen

The Olympic Women’s Team event finished with another victory for China. With the invincible forces of Li Xiaoxia, Ding Ning, and Liu Shiwen, the Chinese Team clinched the Olympic gold in a sweeping manner.

Since the inception of the Team event in 2008 Beijing Olympics, the championship title has always been secured by China. But can they maintain such glory for the next four years?

This definitely can be an issue for the Chinese Women’s Team knowing that their main players will be in their retiring age in 2020. In fact, Li Xiaoxia has already announced her breakup with the Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, Ding Ning will be turning 30, and Liu Shiwen will be 29 by then. For the Chinese Team where champions are getting younger and younger, this age could be a disadvantage.

Ding Ning & Liu Shiwen celebrate in their Doubles match in the Olympic Team finals. (Photo by ITTFWorld)

As the head coach, Kong Linghui would still want to talk through this issue with his players, hoping for an extension.

“I still don’t know if they will be able to adhere,” said Kong Linghui. “Of course we will actively communicate to extend their career. If we will send an entirely new lineup and play against Japan, it could be extremely tight at that time.”

The head coach is aware that fighting with players without experiences could be a little risky. But, coach Kong will always have faith on his team. They have the comprehensive and systematic training, and not to mention the confidence just by being a member of the strongest team in the world.

“However, we will certainly not going to be afraid. Among the young athletes, our players are still better than them. We have Zhu Yuling, and Chen Meng. Its just that their experience in big competitions is still small,” concluded Kong Linghui.

On that note, Japanese Mima Ito will certainly have an advantage over these Chinese players as at age 15, she hasn’t just been in the biggest sporting event in the world, but also won an Olympic medal.

Mima Ito receiving some guidance from her coach and Ai Fukuhara. (Photo by ITTFWorld)
General News Ding Ning Chen Meng liu shiwen Zhu Yuling chinese team li xiaoxia Kong Linghui