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Thread: Zhang Ning at an Event
06-13-2005, 10:23 PM #18
Mmmm... people mentionned 14 years old a few times. Wasn't Audina 15 as I wrote in the post?
06-13-2005, 10:28 PM #19
Translation of interview -part two
OMG translating this is so long. More to come later on.
[continued from part one]
In the second set, ZN played unexpectedly well and produced a small miracle.
ZN ĖIn the second set, I kept playing. I surprisingly won the set when the opponent was leading 10-6. Later, people told me that they never thought Iíd be able to get a comeback. They were convinced that my winning the second set will assure a victory in the third.
As the second set ends, Zhang Ningís coaches and team mates are full of hope, whereas Zhang Ning felt no confidence at all.
ZN ĖAfter 1-1, we entered the rest room to hear the coachís comments. I guess at that time, even if I were sober, I wouldnít have been able to listen to what coach said. Besides, the atmosphere was so stressful that I couldnít pay attention to the advices. So in the end, as I step on court, I lost in the third set anyway.
Because of her own mistakes, ZN made the Chinese team lose the precious Uber Cup. For this, ZN reproaches herself.
ZN ĖI was unable to sleep that night. Lying on the bed, I kept thinking ĎWhy did I lose todayís competition?í At that time, all I could do is continuously reflect on the dayís match. I just couldnít sleep. I think I slept at most two hours that night. I was lying on the bed and knew it was really late. I forced myself to stop thinking. Lost is lost, you canít change reality. Yet I could only think of my defeat. I simply couldnít fall asleep.
After the Uber Cup finals, Audina became famous and is being referred to the genius teen. As for Zhang Ning, her self-esteem has been totally blown into smitherness. In the following nine years, she has been unable to erase this nightmare-like memory. At that time, she was young and fit. What was normally supposed to be an athleteís peek was, for ZN, a downcast.
ZN ĖI myself thought that Iím the sinner for losing the last WS. The pressure was way too big, especially after we return (to China). When I see people, including ones in the team, I didnít dare to look at them. I was very afraid.
LYB ĖIf Zhang Ning won that game, her fame and success in badminton probably wouldíve arrived long ago. Her defeat silenced her for many years. It followed her like a dark shadow.
For ZN, the hardest time was the Sydney Olympicsí eve. By then, she was already 25 and has been on the national squad for almost ten years. This yearsí Olympics will probably the last one in her whole career. Yet, just like 1996ís Olympics, she wasnít on the Chinese teamís list.
ZN ĖAt that time, I was already way older than them (her team mates). I felt that I was often only there to keep them company at practices. With Ye Zhaoyin, I still found it normal, but when training with the other two Dai Yun and Gong Zhichao, I really didnít feel good: they are younger and can go to the Olympics whereas I have to help them prepare. I felt quite uncomfortable. For a certain period, I was in no mood for practices. Sometimes when accompanying them or practicing with them, I didnít even feel like to play. I was unable to be in the mood. I didnít want to train with them on the same court; I couldnít even bare the sight of a shuttlecock. After all these years, having played in several UC without much result and missing twice the Olympics, I felt that the daily training became merely a kind of perfunctory task. Itís like coming to practices to play with them a little. But I find this idea quite selfish.
After the 2000 Sydney Olympics, athletes of ZNís age and even younger ones have all retired. ZN also thought about giving up. In her 15 years of badminton career, she has never won a world champion title. For this, she will not take it, but decides to follow fate.
ZN ĖAfter the 2000 Olympics, because many people like Ye Zhaoyin all thought about quitting, I thought ĎIt should be the time for me tooí. Maybe the results in my badminton career will only be like this. Sometimes, I find that, for myself, I gave a lot, but the key is I still havenít incarnated into a badminton playerís role. I kept thinking ĎI work very hard, why arenít the results reflecting my efforts?í Maybe what I give and what I receive can only be like this; maybe fate decided I wonít get more first places. After playing that yearís national competition (Quan Yun Hui), I told coach LYB that I didnít want to play anymore.
LYB ĖI believe her mentality at that time is the traditional Chinese female athletesí. They all think that attaining the age of 26 or 27 is the moment to put an end to their career. But I know ZN better. Her mental is very strong and sheís really fit. Comparing to people of her age, her body fitness level is higher: her muscle type and energy is younger and stronger. Second of all is her psychological aspect. It had always been very simple, not as mature as people of her age. She doesnít think as much and has a more innocent mind. This is why I think her athletic career should be very long. Therefore, from these two sides, I told her Ďyou are equipped with all the capacity to win a world number one title. Athletes with conditions like you are scarce. Wouldnít your giving up be a pity?í
06-13-2005, 10:50 PM #20
Wow, this is really interesting. Thanks...
LYB = Mr Motivator.
Just dying to read the rest of the interview...aargh
06-14-2005, 10:46 AM #21
i love this thread
06-14-2005, 10:53 AM #22Originally Posted by Devilicious
her birthdate is August 22nd, 1979. I think the UC was held in the first half of the year, so Mia wasn't quite 15, yet.
06-14-2005, 10:08 PM #23Originally Posted by Quasimodo
06-14-2005, 10:58 PM #24
Wow!I never knew she had to struggle that much.
Gr8 suspense ,i am waiting for the rest
06-15-2005, 06:23 PM #25
Translation of Interview -part III
LYB coachís insistence for ZN to stay gave her discouraged soul a hint of hope. Only then did the shadow that stayed with her for seven years start to fade.
ZN ĖIf coach believes in you, why wouldnít you trust yourself? After our conversation, I think I still have the capacity to train. Afterwards, my entire mentality in all other competitions took a sudden change. I was thinking ĎIím at an age for retirement anyway, and many think my level is about to be this. Iíll just try my best. Even if I really end up with a cramp on court, I wonít be afraid even if I lose, because I gave all I have.
LYB ĖI think that from the end of 2002 and the beginning of 2003, ZN went up a big step. She had very deep knowledge in her comprehension for badminton and her control of area on court. When already being an excellent WS player and gaining yet a higher level on that basis, she has stepped on the world championís position. When equipped with this ability level and understanding, she is able to use the experience from all past years to give the rein to the max.
Starting from 2003, ZNís athletic career began to take a turn. In this yearís World Cup, she won against her world ranked #1 team mate Gong Ruina, stepping on the world champís podium for the first time, using her 18 years of perseverance to create her own success.
ZN ĖBecause for the whole time, I had the capacity. I think my condition is still quite good. Having the ability, I believe Iím only missing knowledge in badminton. Now, when I play, I sometimes find it pretty fun. So itís totally different from the type of competitive play I was used to. Instead of wanting to win right away, like the way I was before, I can now play patiently with you. I can have fun using my ability to make you run all over the court and still win in the end. This state of mind is completely different from what I had before. In the old days, I keep thinking ĎI want to beet you in a few strokes, this is my styleí. Now, it has changed. Everyone is very strong; weíre only looking at who can hit the shuttle the most times, who can stand it. I donít fear you, because I have stamina, you must then be weaker. This is the feeling I have on court. So slowly, slowly, I enhanced my confidence and my mental.
2004-08-19 Olympics, Athens
ZN and her old rival Audina once again stepped on the decisive WS final match. In this competitive event of the highest level, ZN wants to return the ten yearsí shadow, the ten yearsí pain she experienced to her opponent; to put a happy ending to this long last grievance. On the other hand, Audina is also very eager about this match. The following day will be her 25th birthday. She hopes this gold medal can become her most precious gift. She has just won against Chinaís #1 seed Gong Ruina in semi-finals and is therefore very confident in todayís game. In the beginning of the match, she performed exceptionally well, her skills showing her up completely.
ZN ĖHer footwork on court appeared like she wonít be running all long. Instead, she would control you. She had all-around skills. She would often force you to feel that you can only place the shuttlecock there. So after she hits, she would know that you can only hit there. I believe her anticipation is very good.
ZN lost in the first game 11-8. After a few minutes of rest, the 2nd game begins.
ZN ĖI didnít think too much about winning or losing. Really. I didnít think about what will happen if I win or lose the tournament. I simply concentrated on the gameís every point.
After ZNís 11-6 victory in the 2nd set, just like ten years ago, ZN and Audina are once again tied at 1-1. The third part of the competition will resume in five minutes. No one can predict the result. Will history replay today?
[Coaching between 2nd and 3rd sets.]
ZN: ďActually, I didnít really list to anywhere in the end. I just lifted, thatís it.Ē
LYB: ďYes, yes, thatís right, thatís correct. Just put the shuttle in and itís ok. Also, donít lift to the sides, no use. Because your lifting to the sides has no danger for her. Lift to the middle and you have no worry, understand?*ZN nods* Itís like, when youíre uncomfortable, hurry to hit it up high. Hit it high and youíre ok. Donít press it down awkwardly, you do that, she drives and itís bad for you.Ē
[End of coaching]
ZN ĖBecause her height and endurance are probably weaker than me. So you have to make her run a lot of distance.
[The screen shows the 3rd set, we hear ZNís comments.] Commentator: the game is very tight. The scoreís tied many times.
ZN ĖDonít think weíre really tight. Already, she doesnít have any strength left. This way, it adds confidence in me. The coach also told me to make her run, to control her baselines, so she wastes her energy more quickly. (Itís match point for ZN) I told myself to be patient, do not urge to get the last point. Like, if I can kill you, then I win. No. I didnít think of that. I thought Iíd use my patience to control her. [ZN wins match point with a net kill] Actually, the last rally didnít last too many strokes. My mind was still very clear. When she smashed, I played a cross-court lift. Her running from her forehand rear court to her backhand front court is a big distance. I smashed, then dropped at her backhand front court. Then, I just knew she would drop there again and was ready for it. So I clearly knew in my mind that Iím to kill it. After the net kill, the feeling was justÖ too happy.
LYB ĖZNís gold medalís meaning is, well, itís for her, the 1st one. It arrived in the past few days when Chinaís badminton team was facing the biggest obstacles, including when others thought our team wasnít going to achieve our goal. ZNís gold medal calmed the whole team. She made the entire group feel that weíre still very strong; she gave us confidence. And this confidence gave the Chinese teamís other members confidence; it also gave hope to the other coaches. So her winning foreshadows our team still has what it takes to complete our gold medal conquest mission. So Zhang Jun and Gaoling, in such a difficult situation, still won XD, plus the WDís winning, I believe, ZNís medalís meaning, if we analyze it carefully, I think itís very high. (Sorry for the big twist, I had no idea how to rephrase this confusing sentence LYB just said.) Itís a gold medal thatís worth to ponder over.
2004-10-08 ZN and Yu Yang celebrated their marriage, fulfilling her biggest dream as a woman. Yu Yang is the national teamís MD coach, was ZNís provincial team mate. Later, they both entered the national team. In her long athletic journey, in her most difficult moments, Yu Yangís company and encouragement gave her the courage to continue. The Olympic medal is the best present she can give to her lover. For Yu Yang, ZNís being an Olympic champ or not isnít important. What he fell for is ZNís character. After their wedding, ZN and YY still live alone in their own dorm. ZN doesnít want to quit right away. She wants to persue her career until the day she canít play. In ZNís 20 years of career, she demonstrated sportsmanship that everyone praised: do not fear defeat and persevere to the end.
** So touched... I persevered and am finally DONE!!! Too bad this isn't also a sign of sportsmanship.
06-15-2005, 07:06 PM #26
Excellent effort, Devilicious! Thanks for sharing. That was great
06-15-2005, 07:52 PM #27
Amazing, amazing. That's really great of you....[applause]
I wonder why they put so little emphasis on the 2003 World Championships. I have to check again but didn't Zhang Ning also play Mia AUdina then? And Zhang Ning's performance in the World Championships was simply incredible. Simply the best performance I have seen. Probably better than teh Olympics performance.
06-15-2005, 10:26 PM #28
Devilicious, thank you for your time and effort for translating this excellent article. In my opinion, this article is also very good for us to learn how to play badminton better - maybe the keywords here are confidence and determination.
06-15-2005, 10:41 PM #29Originally Posted by viver
06-15-2005, 10:44 PM #30Originally Posted by weeyet
06-16-2005, 12:42 AM #31Originally Posted by wood_22_chuck
BTW,This story on her life can make a great documentary.
06-16-2005, 07:20 PM #32
Although the translation of a 40 minutes show took a few hours, if I think of it now, I find it was kind of worth it. I guess it made me realize many things... Like only now do I see that I too, tend to focus a lot on the game's results, which makes it hard to relax when playing. I guess the desire to win dominates one too easily. I'm glad that ZN pointed that out so it doesn't take me twenty years to figure that out on my own.
Btw, the sources: cctv-4's Winner's Circle.
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