Sam­sonov sees Calm Zhang makes par­ity parents com­ing­proud

China Daily (USA) - - RIO OLYMPICS - By XINHUA By ZHAO RUIXUE and JU CHUANJIANG in Ji­nan Con­tact the writers at zhaoruixue@chi­nadaily.com. cnh

SHOOT­ING

Be­laru­sian star Vladimir Sam­sonovFor the fam­i­ly­has of pis­tol pre­dict­ed­shooter ZhangChina’s Mengxue, Sun­day dom­i­nancenight was filled with of emo­tion.ta­ble ten­nis will even­tu­ally come Zhang’sto an end. fa­ther, Zhang Jiesh­eng, “You can couldn’tsay Chi­nastop smilingis very strong­while in her ta­ble mother, ten­nis Liu ... Zhen­hua,but I don’t think strug­gled Europe to or hold any backother tears coun­tryas they have watchedno chance fromto com­peteth­eir home with China.in Shan­dongI think things prov­ince will as their change,” daugh­terthe 40-year-old­struck Olympic­said on gold the in week­end.Rio. “She has been through so much.The worldShe has No watched3, who as opened­her peer­shis sixth quit Olympi­cand she cam­paign has shoul­dere­don Mon­day great with pres­surea sin­gles and ex­pe­ri­enced third-round hard match, train­ing,” re­called said the Liu, 1990s54. when leg­endary “We Jan-Ove­don’t have Wald­ner­any sportin­gand his Swedish­genes in team­mate­sour fam­ily, were but the she ones takes to after beat. her fa­ther with her “More ra­tio­nal than per­son­al­ity.”20 years ago, you Zhang couldn’t Jiesh­eng,say China 53, was is dom­i­nant.a man of We few had wordsso many who strongused to Euro­pean­take his daugh­ter­play­ers at to that daily time train­ing­who played ses­sions.very well On and Sun­day, (could) he waswin any glued tour­na­ment.to the fam­ily That tele­vi­sion gen­er­a­tionwith a qui­et­was great,” in­ten­sity. Sam­sonov said.

“Now Zhang China Mengx­ueis dom­i­nat­ing,was born butin 1991it doesn’tin Ji­nan, mean the that cap­i­tal­will lastof Shan­dong.for­ever. Her marks­man­ship “Fi­nan­cially,skills were China first spot­ted­was a mu­chon the stronger­ri­fle range coun­try at in Ji­nan­the 1990s Sports than Schoolin thein 2004. 1980s. This also Six made monthsa dif­fer­ence.after she firstIt meant picked more up peo­plea firearm,could con­cen­trate she was trans­ferre­don sports. to Also,air pis­tolyou have shootinga tra­di­tion un­der (of coach ta­ble Wangten­nis) Hongli.in China. You have great culture “She and lookeda great sys­tem.calm and steady“I know when that shein the com­pet­ed1990s many­with her Chi­ne­sepeers, a playedrare per­son­al­i­ty­for Euro­pean trait in clubs, teenagers,”and now said ev­ery­oneWang, whois long­ing watched to the play fi­nalin China. Even Euro­peans shoul­dat Zhang’s train in home China,” on he Sun­dayadded. night.

Sam­sonov“Her steady reached per­son­al­i­tythe quar­ter­fi­nal­shelps. Bein­gat two calm, pre­vi­ous you Olympics,can show los­ing yourout toChina’sbest in Wang com­pe­ti­tion.”Tao at At­lanta 1996 and to Liu Zhang said Jike, that the from even­tu­alan early cham­pion,age her daugh­terat London chose2012. to de­vel­opAsked what’sher shoot­ingthe se­cret skill­sto keep­in­grather than ac­tive fo­cusin his on 40s, aca­demic­the lanky pur­suits. Be­laru­sian laughed and said: “We “I don’t re­spected think her there’s de­ci­sion,”a real se­cret.Liu said.

In 2006, Zhang was se­lected to train with the Shan­dong provin­cial team and three years later she ad­vanced to the na­tional youth team.

In 2014, after win­ning a num­ber of com­pe­ti­tions, she be­came a full mem­ber of the na­tional team.

Last year she se­cured a sil­ver medal at a World Cup event“Of course,in South you Korea. have to be pro­fes­sional,One of the work first hard thingsand take Zhang care didof your after body. win­ning I’malso gold veryat the happy Games with was myto call fam­ily, home.I en­joy“I am life. so I’ve proudalso beenof her,” lucky Liu enough­said on to Mon­day.avoid a big in­jury.”

Sam­sonov“She soundedis un­de­cid­ed­very calm.if he will She bring­has down­been the work­ing cur­tain hardon his for play­ingthis com­pe­ti­tion­ca­r­eer after all Rio. year.

“I’m “The not last the time youngest.we wereI’m 40. to­geth­erSo, prob­a­bly,was dur­ingyes,” he Spring­said. “But Fes­ti­val.”you never know what will hap­pen. Zhang set an Olympic record“If you’reby scor­ing­going to 199.4the Olympics, points on Sun­day.you want to win a medal. And Vi­tali­naat my age, Bat­sarashk­i­nathe chance is of get­ting Rus­sia small­er­took the and sil­ver smaller.” medal with Jor­gen 197.1 Pers­son points of while Swe­den, Anna Jean-MichelKo­rakaki Saiveof Greeceof Bel­gium won and bronze Croa­tia’s with 177.7 Zo­ran points. Pri­morac com­peted at seven Olympics be­tween 1988 and 2012. Nige­ria’s Se­gun To­ri­ola is in his sev­enth Games in Rio.

Be­laru­sian ta­ble ten­nis player Vladimir Sam­sonov.

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