CHINA’S world No.1 Ding Ning is not contemplating retirement although many consider that she is past her prime.
But the Olympic champion is determined to keep winning laurels.
“It’s too early to talk about retirement. I’m fit and fine and doing well. I’ve a few more years left in me. So why stop?” Ding asked.
After missing gold at the 2012 London Games, the 26-year-old overcame team-mate Li Xiaoxia 11-9, 5-11, 14-12, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7 in the final at Rio. It was her second Olympic gold, having won the team title in 2012.
“My mind was in a daze. I had to pinch myself to realise that I had won the gold. It was one of the proudest moments in my life,” said Ding, a regular at the annual Qatar Open.
She thanked her friend and team-mate Guo Yan for helping her overcome the frustration and sadness after missing gold in London.
“Guo had told me ‘It’s only through focus that you’ll be able to achieve success’. I always remember what she had said whenever I’m up against a tough opponent,” said Ding.
Following Guo’s advice, Ding made some alterations in her technique which eventually helped her.
She also ironed out the flaws in the intervening period and evolved as a determined player.