May 18th
BEIJING: Olympic champion and world number one Zhang Ning has been appointed to the coaching staff of the China national team.

“I really appreciate the appointment,” Zhang, who will be 31 tomorrow, told the Liaoshen Evening Post.

“As a coach it is my responsibility to impart my experiences to the next generation.

“As a player I have won gold medals, and I would like to become the coach of champions as well.”

Zhang, who led China to a fifth successive world team title in the Uber Cup earlier this month, will combine the new role with her preparations for defending her Olympic crown on home soil in Beijing in 2008.