Sports / China

Young table tennis star wins prestigious award

By Cecily Liu ( Updated: 2015-03-21 07:12

For Ho, table tennis is not just a physical sport but also a mindset game where winning relies on developing tactics based on one's strengths and weaknesses.

She said that fast movement is her real strength so she tries to put the pressure on the game and not give her opponents time to recover. At the same time, she lacks the strengths and power some of her opponents has and is trying to develop it through training.

Such hard work has all paid off as she has travelled internationally on numerous occasions to represent England in tournaments, visiting countries including France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Egypt.

"I like travelling as it broadens my horizons and also makes me more independent as a person. When I travel I sometimes aspire to be a professional table tennis player, travelling all the time. But as soon as I come back to school I like my studies and want to stay in class," she said.

Extensive travelling for Ho has meant that she needs to work extra hard to catch up with school work once she returns, but she says luckily her teachers are very helpful to assist her with the catching up process, and she mostly receives A grades across her subjects.

Ho says although the lifestyle of a professional player is attractive for her, she would still like to go to university and study medicine, but perhaps after a gap year to experience the professional table tennis player life.

"I have spoken to some professional players who attend tournaments and training opportunities all over the world, and I think that is very cool," she said.

Ho said one tournament particularly memorable for her is the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow, where she and her teammate won mixed doubles silver medal. "We were not expected to win as we were playing against a very good Singaporean team, but I think they were nervous and in the end we surprised ourselves by winning," she said.

But sometimes Ho also comes under the same pressure of nervousness. "Sometimes I do not win where I should because I become very nervous, and I feel sad when that happens, but I learn to adjust to such pressure as I think it is an experience most athletes would have to go through," she said.

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