21 Feb 2019

Champion in 2017 and regarded as one of the North American continent’s top players, there was plenty of optimism surrounding the Lily Zhang camp heading into the Universal 2019 ITTF Pan America Cup.

However, her hopes of lifting the Women’s Singles trophy for a second time weren’t fulfilled in Guaynabo, exiting at the quarter-finals stage.

by Simon Daish

Negotiating groups stage fixtures against Chile’s Judith Morales and Guatemala’s Mabelyn Enriquez with little difficulty all appeared to be going according to plan for Lily Zhang but awaiting the USA star in the last eight was a much tougher challenge with top seed Zhang Mo providing the opposition.

Fighting back from a 1-3 deficit Lily recovered well to level the scores at 3-3, forcing the match into a seventh game. However, her Canadian rival had the upper hand in the decider with Lily recounting the experience on the JOOLA USA website.

“With the momentum on my side, I felt hopeful and self-assured going into the seventh. But perhaps, a little too confident. I powered through, trying to win the points immediately and instead, began rushing excessively. I didn’t give her a chance to even make a mistake. The last game flew by quickly, ending with her taking the game and match 11-6, 4:3.” Lily Zhang

Suffering defeat earlier than expected it can sometimes be difficult to keep your head held high but that’s exactly what Lily is doing, looking to learn from her defeat in Guaynabo and move forwards with a positive mindset.

“Table tennis, or sport in general, is a learning curve and things most certainly don’t always go your way. Cheesy as it sounds, success cannot be achieved without failure. Yes, this competition was disappointing, but I want to reframe the situation in a more positive light. Rather than ruminate and bottle up any negative emotion, I’m now focusing on analyzing the match more objectively and moving towards the future with new lessons.” Lily Zhang

A fascinating and insightful read, be sure to check out Lily’s full thoughts and reflections on her Universal 2019 ITTF Pan America Cup outing here.


2019 Pan Am Cup Lily Zhang

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Day 3 - Universal 2019 ITTF-Pan American Cup