by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
Now 44 years old, a mother of two boys, aged 16 years and 13 years, Jian Fang Lay has been representing Australia since 1995; in London she is the most senior player on duty but still enjoys the challenge of competition.
“With table tennis I just want to enjoy myself and have fun. I am not playing under any pressure having featured at five Olympic Games for Australia and winning seven medals at the Commonwealth Games.
For me table tennis is life and I will continue to play as long as I remain unbeatable in my country. It is when I am beaten that I will quit; for now I remain the number one female player in Australia. Apart from this, my presence in the team is vital because the younger players need my experience.
I don’t think I could continue playing without the support of my family. My husband in particular has been very supportive and he has always been there with me in all the Olympic Games since I made my debut at Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
I must confess that it is not easy doing sport and taking care of the home but I am lucky to have such a lovely and understanding husband who helps out.
The basic thing for any table tennis player is to have a strong foundation and good basics, such a player also needs international exposure that will boost his or her confidence when playing at top level.”