By Henry Chen
“I don’t really consider the issue on defending the championship title because there are a lot of changes as to my team and other teams. I just hope that young players will be able to achieve good training through this competition,” Ding Ning said.
Ding Ning will participate in this season’s Chinese Super League as the team leader of the Beijing Team. Last season, Beijing had a very impressive performance landing them on top of the team ranking. They advanced into the playoffs and faced Wuhan in the final round.
Beijing Shougang Women’s Team clinched the 2015 championship title in 3-1 score.
This season, the defending champions will have Ding Ning, Shen Dandan, Li Jiayuan and Sun Chen. These four players have already played in the league. Aside from them, the team will also have Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and teenagers Zhang Zhao and Guo Yuhan.
Beijing had their opening match in this season’s Super League ahead of the others. Their match against Shenzhen was scheduled last 14th October. It wasn’t a very easy match for the defending champions but they prevailed in the end.
Ding Ning won two points from Wang Yidi and Chen Meng. Li Jiayuan survived the second match against Chen Meng in 3-2. Beijing recorded a 3-1 victory.
Being the latest Olympic champion, Ding Ning is aware that a lot is expected from her by the people of Beijing. However, she would not want to be overcame by pressure. She assures everyone that she will only do her best.
“Everyone has high expectations on me after I won the Olympic title. They are more concerned with the results that I will have. But in my perspective, I’ll just do my best and give my best efforts,” she added.
Ding Ning was invited to participate in the Seamaster 2016 Women’s World Cup but unfortunately, she decided to withdraw. Ding Ning’s next appearance in the international circuit might be the 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals.