|Guo Yue wins her first women's singles title at this year's World Table Tennis Championship. [163.com]|
As a table tennis player, Guo was first not as famous as Wang Nan and the top player Zhang Yining. But after winning the World Championship, Guo is getting more and more noticed by the world.
Dream of Becoming a World Champion in Childhood
In July 1988, Guo was born to an ordinary family in Anshan, northeastern China's Liaoning Province. Guo liked table tennis when she was a child. At the age of seven when Guo was in the first grade, a table tennis class was set up in Anshan Municipal School and her father signed her up.
When Guo attended a provincial contest in Shenyang Provincial Sports School, she competed against opponents one-year older than her. Unexpectedly, Guo beat them all! The provincial sports school liked her and kept her in their school. After another two years of practice, Guo entered the Liaoning provincial professional team in 1998 and was selected to be on the second national team in 2000. In 2002, Guo became the youngest player on the national team.
From the day Guo entered the professional team, she had great expectations: that is to win. During training, she often lost to Wang Nan. When being asked if she was discouraged, she answered: "Wang Nan is my role model. I am learning from her."
Guo is not afraid to play against strong opponents and the more famous her opponent is, the more excited she is. Even Wang Nan needs to be careful when playing with her. Guo has a boyish style and uses many pre-emptive strikes. Her attacks are very successful.
Rainbow after Wind and Rain
It was at the 47th women's team event in the 2004 World Championship that people began to notice Guo. She was 15 years old that year and she and her teammates won the championship, making her the youngest champion in Chinese table tennis history. The same year at the Athens Olympics, she and her teammate Niu Jianfeng played in the doubles event and won a bronze. She stood on the Olympic medal podium at the age of 16.
However, Guo was still very young, and a series of losses in international games led to her disappearance from the public eye. At the 2005 World Cup, Guo was beaten by European veteran Boros and was quickly eliminated. What was more disappointing, at the World Team Table Tennis Championships, Guo lost to Tie Yana, an unranked player. Guo, famous when she was young, was now at a crossroads.
In a blink Guo had slipped to the bottom. To help her mentally adjust, the national team decided that she would not compete anymore. For almost half a year, Guo did not appear at international events.
The long wait was a torture for Guo Yue, and it made her humble. Guo spend time reflecting upon her failure and success. "I don't care too much about winning now. but I used to care a lot about it in the past," said Guo.
At the 2006 Doha Asian Games, Guo returned to competitions and took first place in Women's Singles, Women's Doubles and Women's Team. This year, Guo attended four International Opens and won three gold medals. At the selection match for Zagreb, Guo qualified early on.
After the World Table Tennis Championship opening match, Guo easily beat her opponent. In the semi-finals, she beat Chinese Table Tennis top player Zhang Yining with unrivaled speed and an explosive force.
Guo is not satisfied with being a Women's Singles champion. Like many other athletes, becoming a 2008 Olympic champion is her next biggest dream.
Guo Yue [sina]
Name: Guo Yue
Native Place: Anshan, Liaoning Province
Date of Birth: July 17, 1988
Sport: Table Tennis (Ping-pong)
1999 - Japan East Asian Junior Championship Women's Singles Champion
2000 - Asian Cup Women's Singles Runner-up
2002 - International Table Tennis Federation, ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) Pro Tour Events Final Women's Singles Runner-up
2003 - Asian Championship Women's Team Champion, Women's Singles Second Runner-up, Runner-up of Women's Doubles at the 47 World Table Tennis Championship
2004 - Women's Doubles Bronze at the Athens Olympic, Women's Team Champion of World Table Tennis Championship, ITTF Pro Tour Events Final Women's Singles Champion and Women's Doubles Runner-up
2005 - Mixed Doubles (with Wang Liqin) at the 48th World Table Tennis Championship, bronze medal in Women's Singles
2006 - World Table Tennis Championship Women's Team Champion; Champion of Team, Women's Singles, Women's Doubles Champion (with Li Xiaoxia) at Asian Games
2007 - World Table Tennis Championship Women's singles Champion, Mixed Doubles Champion (with Wang Liqin)
(Source: sina.com.cn / Translated by Women of China)
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