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China's Grand Slam winning paddler Ding Ning retires

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-09-06 16:10
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Ding Ning of China in action against Ishikawa Kasumi of Japan during the women's quarterfinal table tennis match at the Swedish Open Championships in Stockholm, Sweden, November 3rd, 2018. [Photo/IC]

BEIJING - Chinese table tennis star Ding Ning announced her retirement on Monday and will pursue her master's degree in the prestigious Peking University.

"I'm 'student Ning' of the Peking University now. Hopefully, I can continue to contribute to the sports cause and everybody. My career as a table tennis player has curtained down today, and I will work hard for new dreams and challenge new possibilities in the future," the 21-time world champion wrote on the Twitter-like platform of Weibo.

Ding also posted three photos representing her different stages: starting to play table tennis at the age of five, holding the gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games award ceremony and registering at the Peking University with a letter of admission in hand.

"I cherish every moment with table tennis over the past 26 years: from taking up the sport at five years old to pursuing my dreams in Beijing at 10, representing China in international competitions, achieving Grand Slam at the Olympics, bearing China's flag at the Rio Olympic Games closing ceremony," the Chinese women's team captain recalled.

"Table tennis has taught me, whether at high peak or in low ebb, to always have a brave heart as there is no easy way in chasing dreams. No one is invincible, and you have to face up to failures and difficulties...Sporting spirit is far more than win or lose," she wrote, expressing her gratitude to the team, coaches, teammates, family and fans.

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