Ding Ning: The fighter who bounces back in table tennis

Ding Ning has also won every tournament and competition that she has played in but she has had her fair share of travails.

Ding Ning file photo, Image credit: Twitter
By Karthik Raman | Mar 16, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Ding Ning is just like another Chinese Table Tennis player. She has won all tournaments, is an Olympic and world champion and is just a continuation of the dominance that China has established in the world of Table Tennis. However, Ding Ning has had to endure her fair share of problems. Ding Ning has won three World Championships, three World Cups and she also secured the gold medal in the singles in the 2016 Rio Olympics. With team and doubles success in various multi-nation tournaments, Ding Ning has been one of the best Chinese Table Tennis players in the modern era. But, her story has been one of many difficulties.

In the 2012 London Olympics, in the singles final against compatriot Li Xiaoxia, Italian umpire Paola Bongelli repeatedly cautioned Ding Ning for her backhand tomahawk serve. Bongelli deducted 3 penalty points from Ding Ning leading her to break down in tears in the fourth set. The decision from Bongelli affected the game, Ding’s composure and her timing, and caused Ding to lose the final. 

After the game Ding Ning stated, “I had an obstacle today, and not only from the opponent but from the judge as well. I was affected by the judge. After the first one (point penalty), I tried to keep cool but could not hold it after the second. The judge was too strict. I always serve the ball like this. I have done that for the last two years and, even from the first game of the Olympics, I have served like this. I do not know what to say. As soon as I raised my hand to serve, she sentenced me with a service violation.

More problems

Ding Ning withdrew from January’s Hungarian Open, citing “the purpose of protecting my physical condition. There was her semi-finals elimination at the hands of Wang Manyu in Doha. At April’s Liebherr 2019 World Championships in Budapest, she bowed to Liu Shiwen. Then there was the quarter-finals exit due to Mima Ito in Shenzhen and finally a round of 16 elimination by Hitomi Sato in Sapporo last month.

But, Ding Ning is known as the Queen of Hearts for her ability to bounce back in tough conditions. She defeated top opponents and made it to the Korea Open final in 2019 before losing in the final, With all her physical and mental tribulations, Ding Ling is still a force to be reckoned with in the world of Table Tennis. She has won everything that needs to be, but Ding Ning is known to push the benchmark of success to a whole new level.

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