Taiwan’s top female table tennis player aspires after glory at upcoming Taipei Universiade

Taiwan’s top female table tennis player talked about the inception of her table tennis career and shared her training regime for the upcoming Taipei U

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--Taiwan’s top female table tennis player Cheng I-ching (鄭怡靜) talked about the inception of her table tennis career, reflected on her past Olympic and Universiade experiences, and shared her training regime for the upcoming Taipei Universiade in August during an interview with the Taipei Broadcasting Station earlier this month.   

The Universiade is the largest multi-sport event in the world apart from the Olympic Games.

Photo courtesy Taipei City Government

Cheng, 25, became Taiwan’s youngest national table tennis team member at the age of 14. Recalling taking up the sport of table tennis for the first time, Cheng chuckled and said, “I was just picking up balls when I was small.” Born into a family of athletes, Cheng practiced with her older sister at a young age and helped with picking up balls.   

Cheng said that the Olympics is every athlete’s biggest stage, but her road to the Olympics had been bumpy. She said she was too young for the Beijing 2008 Olympics and therefore missed her first chance, and then she failed in the qualifying rounds for the London 2012 Olympics due to injuries.

Recalling how the defeat dealt a big blow to her, she said she was so furious that she crushed all of her rackets and was thinking about giving up the sport.  

In the face of such depression, Cheng told the radio show host that she listened to music, watched movies, and went shrimp fishing to refresh her mind. When you try to fish up a shrimp, you have to stare at the buoy, which can train your patience and concentration, she said. After almost one year of meditating, she told herself that she needed to “start all over again with the basics.”

      

Photo courtesy Taipei City Government

After missing two Olympics, Cheng finally nailed her berth for the Rio 2016 Olympics. She said her Olympic experiences made her realize “the waiting time after missing an Olympic chance was longer than I imagined and there could be no other chances again.” Competing in the Olympics for the first time, Chen spared no effort but stopped at the round of 8.   

Reflecting on her three past Universiade appearances, Cheng said the World University Games’ competition schedule was tighter and there were more matches to play every day, sometimes with matches from morning till night, Cheng said. Therefore, she will prepare more nutrients to keep herself in the best conditions, she said.      

Photo courtesy Taipei City Government

With reference to the Taipei Universiade in August, Cheng said that competing in her own country will empower her, and in spite of the fact that she hasn’t fully recovered from her previous injuries, the strategy of replacing training with competition should keep her injuries in check and give her training at the same time.

All her family members will come to cheer for her at the Universiade, and she hoped to give her best and keep the glory of victory in Taiwan, she said, also calling on the public to come to cheer for all competing athletes.