17 May 2018

Crowned European champion on two occasions and the winner of the Women’s Singles gold medal at the 2015 European Games, Li Jiao led the Netherlands to great success in her playing days.

Fast-forward to May 2018 - Li Jiao has now announced her departure from her role as head coach of the Dutch women’s team.

by Simon Daish

While her immediate plans are unclear, Li Jiao is planning to return to China, a move which will allow her to be closer to her family.

“What I will do next I have not decided yet. But I will not continue as a national coach in the Netherlands. I still have a house in the Netherlands and in the future I might do something there. But now I want to see my family and husband first. My life will be more connected with China and Asia and less with the Netherlands.” Li Jiao

Li Jiao took over the role as Dutch women’s head coach from Elena Timina last summer as part of a coaching shakeup organised ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

However, just under a year later Li Jiao has called her time with the Dutch national team to a halt, a decision which she admits was difficult to make but ultimately came down to personal reasons.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. It was hard decision, since I built close bond with the players and staff. I am not leaving because of the table tennis it is purely a personal decision.” Li Jiao

The ITTF wishes Li Jiao all the best with her future endeavours.

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