After the visit of the Chinese men and Hungarian Olympic team to Ellenborough TTC it was the turn of China women’s team of Ding Ning, Li Xiaoxia and Guo Yue to drop into the club.
Within their entourage of coaches the legendary Kong Linghui (winner of Olympic, World Cup and World Championships Men’s Singles titles) overlooked the team’s final preparations.
After some lengthy stretching exercises, the training session began with Ding Ning (No. 1 seed and reigning World Champion) practicing with Liu Shiwen (reigning Women’s Doubles World Champion and World Ranked No. 2), Li Xiaoxia (No. 2 seed and reigning Women’s Doubles World Champion) practicing with Ma Lin (reigning Olympic Men’s Singles Champion) and Guo Yue (reigning Women’s Doubles World Champion and World Ranked No.8) practicing with Cao Zhen (reigning Mixed Doubles World Champion).
After a couple of hours of very intensive training, Ning, Yue and Shiwen took a short break before returning to the tables to practice a variety of mesmerising serves. The session ended with a smiling and confident Chinese team signing shirts and posing for photographs with club juniors.
Ellenborough TTC chairman, Keith Williams, said: “It was absolutely tremendous for our juniors to watch the best players in the world training the day before they try and fulfill what must be a lifetime ambition of winning the Olympic Women’s Singles title.
Though Guo Yue already has an Olympic team gold and singles bronze from Beijing, this is the first Olympic Games for Ding Ning and LI Xiaoxia. The intensity of the training was remarkable and that is the best education our juniors will have had in their lives. This was all about inspiring the next generation of table tennis players in London. ”
Williams added: “Finally, I would like to say a big thank you, to the China Table Tennis Team and look forward to our partnership continuing over the next fortnight.”