04 Feb 2017

Returning stronger from defeat; it is the mark of a champion. Sometimes the record can be put straight very quickly, within a day, a week or a month; for China’s Ding Ning it was an agonising wait of four years.

At the London 2012 Olympic Games, she was beaten in the final of the Women’s Singles event by colleague, Li Xiaoxia; four years later in Rio de Janeiro, the result was reversed.

by Ian Marshall & Henry Chen

Pain in England’s capital, it was joy in the Brazilian city.

“The feeling of winning and losing is different. After winning, I always feel happy whenever I think about it”, Ding Ning

Ding Ning, having being crowned World champion in Rotterdam in 2011, started proceedings as the favourite for gold in London; certainly that was the view of Adham Sharara, at the time the President of the International Table Tennis Federation.

Faulted on her service, Ding Ning became distraught as the final progressed; confidence drained, realisation dawned that the gold medal was not to be her destiny.

“At any time when I have thought of the London Olympic Games in the last four years, I felt really sad. The kind of sadness that didn’t subside over time”, Ding Ning

However, behind the delightful charming smile, there is a burning inner determination; the period between London and Rio de Janeiro was painful, it was that pain which proved the source of motivation.

Strong support system from the team, friends and especially her adoring fans, Ding Ning survived and eventually secured the ultimate prize.

Now Ding Ning is at the very top of the ladder, listed at no.1 on the Women’s World Rankings, the World champion and most important of all, the Olympic champion.

China News Ding Ning