Team USA lost their last hope in the Olympic table tennis singles bracket when the current American national champion Lily Zhang fell 4-1 to Hyowon Suh of South Korea on Monday.
Zhang held her own from game to game, Zhang could not get an edge over Suh to seal the match. The 29-year-old Korean showed her years of experience mental fortitude as Suh won game after game, while Zhang tried to keep afloat.
The commentators mentioned that Zhang’s lucky racket of six years broke mid-match which they said might have thrown the player off a bit during play. But since she’s just 20-years-old, Zhang’s has a long career ahead of her. At the 2012 Games in London, she lost in the first round, so her goal this year was to improve on that last performance.
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“I’ve gotten through a lot more tough matches,” Zhang told NBC. “I know how to handle situations better.”
By making it to round three by defeating some world-class opponents Zhang has proven that she has progressed, and she’s not even close to done yet. Zhang will be back up representing her team in the doubles tournament starting Friday August 12.