Victory, the best present to Zhang's Birthday
After a drop shot by Zhang Ning, the whole Capital Gymnasium transformed into a sea of joy. Chinese team whitewashed the Indonesian team with a straight 3-0, in which Zhang Ning gave herself a best birthday present by her last deadly wining score.
May 19, 2005 will be Zhang Ning's 30th birthday. The best present Zhang wanted to have is the Surdiman Cup. She wanted to match in the final and celebrate the birthday with her own victory. In the group match, Zhang Ning appeared in only one match, which caused anxieties in many people. But She appeared in the semifinal and supplanted Xie Xinfang in the final. Some may think that Li Yongbo have favored Zhang Ning and let her make an easy score. But Li Yongbo had his own considerations. He said: "I have not considered Zhang's birthday and her age. My major concern is what if we trail the Indonesian by 0-2 in the match. Under that kind of circumstance, Zhang Ning would still have stable performance. She is the Olympic Champion and World's Champion after all and richer in experience than Xie Xinfang. What Xie Xinfang lacks is experience in world's major matches. She may be nervous when we lag behind."
Zhang Ning thanks Li Yongbo very much for granting her the chance. She says: "I am much obliged to Coach Li. Without him, I would not be the Champion in Athens Olympics and he let me match in the final. In fact, my performance in the second game was not good and I was too eager to finish the match to raise the cup and lost several point for that. But fortunately I made timely adjustment and finally won the match at 2-0 and did not fail my coaches and teammates. My birthday will be in several days. Surdiman Cup is my best present."