31 Aug 2018

Competing in Women’s Singles Class 8; Zhu Mingyu impressed on the opening of play, Thursday 30th August at the 2018 China Para Open in Beijing.

The no.2 seed, she finished in first place her initial stage group ahead of Russia’s Elena Litvinenko and the host nation’s Li Guiying.

by Steven Lee, Technical Delegate

Often known by the English name, Lydia, Zu Mingyu moved to the United States in 2009; from that moment, she has endured experiences which have shaped both a caring and determined character.

It was in China where her table tennis career started; as a child she often fell ill, so her parents sent her to play table tennis, a sport good for health. She played for five or six years but when entering junior high school she stopped.

Later in the United States, she attended senior high school in Boston but in her second year suffered a very serious car accident; her back was broken and the nerves on her shin were damaged permanently. She had a steel plate inserted to support her back which remains to this day.

Luckily she was not paralyzed and survived; some two years of rehabilitation followed. Understandably it was very difficult at the beginning. She struggled; finally she succeeded to walk independently.

Eventually, the family moved to Los Angeles where she attended senior high school; following medical advice to assume some form of athletic activity, she started to play table tennis once again,

Later she attended the University of Berkeley, reading mathematics. She made many good friends; she joined the table tennis team, achieving good results and was noticed by a Paralympic coach. The meeting was pivotal, international competition followed.

Graduation followed but it was a difficult period in her life. She applied to three law schools but was rejected; however, throughout the whole of this time, she played table tennis. The sport gave her other goals.

Now she has a full time job at a biotech company but her ambition remains to study law and help people at bottom of society.

She is not motivated by money; her character is to work hard. It applies to her life in general and in particular the way she approaches the sport of table tennis; a fact proven on the opening day of play in Beijing.

2018 China Para Open: Latest Draws and Results

Paralympics Para Table Tennis Zu Mingyu