Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wang Chen retires! And Li Jiawei still in the running for a singles medal.

First of all, Wang Chen retired after reaching the quarterfinals of the 2008 Beijing Olympics:

"I'm 34 years old and my back hurts a lot. Sometimes I just want to give up, but I wanted to play at the Olympics, which is a big event. I will retire after this tournament," she said (

Well, congratulations, Wang Chen, for pulling through and getting the USA so far in the Olympic games! WOW! Given the fact that she was ready to quit ping pong for life when she came to the United States in 1999, she's really come a long way to prove herself in her first and last Olympics ever. Now, she'll return to NY to continue running her table tennis club. We also shouldn't forget to recognize Gao Jun, who's given so much glory to US women's table tennis. Thanks to both of you!

Second of all, darn! Li Jiawei lost to Zhang Yining in the semifinals of the women's (-9, 8, 10, 8, 5). I was rooting for Li Jiawei -- it would have been so awesome if she had gotten into the finals so that it would be one country against the other. Now it's China vs. China, with Wang Nan and Zhang Yining in the finals -- the expected result, but anticlimactic :(.

Well, at least Li Jiawei's still in the running for a bronze medal, and hopefully she can pull through and finally get a singles medal. This Olympics is her 3rd one. In the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Li Jiawei beat 2nd-seeded Wang Nan only to lose to North Korea's Kim Hyang Mi in the semi-finals in 7 games. Then she lost to South Korea's Kim Kyung Ah in the bronze medal match.

Let's hope Li Jiawei can pull through against Guo Ye in the bronze medal match! This should be a good match, which will be going down August 22 at 7:30PM (Beijing time).