I'm getting so much cooperation from Ding Ning, one of the next generation of great Chinese female table-tennis players. She's outgoing, wants to talk with reporters — and even listens to journalists trying questions in Mandarin. New breed, really.
Zhang Yining won four gold medals in the last two Olympics. Wang Nan won four in three Olympics — 2000, 2004, 2008. And Deng Yaping started the string with four in 1992 and 1996. Now comes 22-year-old Ding.
"I'm not so sure I can be like the others, but I'm trying," she said Monday after reaching the quarterfinals. "I know Zhang Yining very well. I train with her and I have learned so many things from her. ... Of course I really want to win the gold medal. But even if I don't win the medal, I have a long career in front of me and will have more chances."
And a confession: "If I get silver, I will feel a little bit disappointed."
— Stephen Wade — Twitter http://twitter.com/StephenWadeAP
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