Beijing-born Zhang Xueling has already impressed Singapore with her vivacity and perseverance. Now 23 years old, Zhang first stepped into Singapore in 1998 where she trained together with her seniors Li Jiawei, Jing Jun Hong and Tan Paey Fern. Her talent shone through and she was made a citizen of Singapore in 2001. Only a year later, this team of four would carry back an Asian Games medal, which had eluded Singapore for far too long.
Ranked 51st in the world, Zhang Xueling has the potential of rising to greater heights. In the Athens Olympics 2004, she went to the Games with no other target than to perform at her best. With Li Jiawei carrying the hopes of the country, Zhang Xueling played her game and surprised the nation when she defeated 14th seed, Korea’s Lee Eun Sil and Japan’s table tennis prodigy Ai Fujinuma, to secure a position in the quarter-finals. Despite losing to the vastly experienced Kim Hyang Mi, her achievement was applauded by all Singaporeans.
Xueling enjoyed further success in the 2005 South-East Asian Games where she brought back 4 gold medals for the country. She pleasantly surprised the nation once again by overcoming highly-skilled compatriot, Li Jiawei, to win the Women’s Singles and Mixed Doubles events.
In 2006, she continued her run of successes with sterling performances in the Commonwealth Games, sweeping all 4 gold medals in the Women’s Team, Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles events. Most recently, she played an integral role on the Women’s Team that captured a Silver medal at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha.