15 Nov 2016

Despite having the Olympic and Grand Slam champion in their line-up, the Beijing Shougang Women’s Team has not been spared from difficulties in this season's Chinese Super League.

However, the team remains optimistic and confident that they are doing fine in the competition; that is because their main goal is to train their young players but Ding Ning and company are definitely not going easy on their opponents.

by Henry Chen 

The Beijing Women’s Team was defeated by Shandong Luneng in the seventh round of the women’s Chinese Super League on Sunday 6th November. In that round, Li Jiayuan had a big responsibility playing in the second match.

“The team arranged me to play in the second match; that is to impact the opponent’s top player. I think that my task was to play out my technical level”, Li Jiayuan

Indeed, Li Jiayuan was very brave against Zhu Yuling in the match. She held a two-one advantage and forced her more experienced opponent into a decider. Unfortunately, she failed to capitalise on her opportunities. She lost in in five games (10-12, 12-10, 9-11, 19-17, 8-6).

“There are some regret after playing the match but I have a clear conscience”, Li Jiayun

The battle between Beijing and Shandong Luneng eventually led into the fourth match. Beijing had Ding Ning while the opposing team had Zhu Yuling. In just three games, the Rio Olympic Singles champion Ding Ning was beaten (11-9, 11-8, 11-3).

“The degree of difficulty is very big this season. However, our most important goal this season is to train our young players; this is to prepare them for the Chinese Games and the Super League next year”,  Yan Yongguo, Beijing coach

The team leader and at the same time the reigning Olympic champion, Ding Ning, also sees a tough competition this season. However, she is confident with her team’s overall abilities.

“Since we were the champions last season, our opponents will become much stronger. There are still two rounds left (for the first cycle of round robin). One is a home match and the other one is not. We are going to give our best to prepare for each match. Regardless if we won or lost, we still have the confidence to fight in the next round”, Ding Ning

Indeed, Beijing showed a remarkable performance in the eighth round of the competition last on Wednesday 9th November. As visitors, Beijing upset the crowd of Shanxi.

Ding Ning even took the back seat in that round. The victory was achieved by the efforts of her teammates Sheng Dandan and Li Jiayuan.

“So far the players are performing well. I believe that they can play much better in the subsequent rounds”, Beijing coach.

Beijing is currently in the fifth place with five victories and three losses. The team will be facing Liu Shiwen’s Anxin Team in the next round to take place on Sunday 13th November.

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