Lily Zhang of the USA was in outstanding form as she swept the final of the 2017 Pan American Cup in convincing fashion to win gold and qualify for this year’s Women’s World Cup. As the countdown moves into its final month before the big event in Downtown Markham, Canada, Zhang prepares to rise to the challenge.

The 21 year old College student from the University of California-Berkeley has been recovering and mentally preparing for the prestigious event after suffering a foot injury which saw her struggle through the World University Games last month. She was absent from the 2017 ITTF Pan American Championship as she took some rest and recovery time to prepare for the World Cup.

It has been a stellar year for Zhang as she defended her US National Singles title, her 4th time winning the event, she also performed exceptionally to reach the last 32 of the World Table Tennis Championships in Germany, and of course won gold at the Pan Am Cup in Costa Rica. Zhang is walking, breathing proof that table tennis and university education can work if you have the right attitude.

Of course the line-up for the prestigious event leaves many challenges for Zhang, with a strong roster of the world’s best female players. Noting the difficulty, she recognized the challenge and seems to thrive of it.

‘I have to admit that the roster of players seems pretty intimidating, especially with Olympic and World Champion Ding Ning leading the lineup, but at the same time I’m extremely honored and humbled to be a part of this incredible group of athletes competing in the World Cup. I’m always up for a challenge and definitely looking to make some upsets!’ – Lily Zhang, USA.

If anything, Zhang has proven her ability to rise to the occasion, having created many surprises and claiming many victories in the sport. She turned heads when she won bronze at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and has also gained a strong following for her ability to take down big names. At the 2014 World Team Championships she went on a wild run, defeating Hungary’s Georgina Pota and stunning world number 14 Victoria Pavlovich.

Zhang has competed in two Olympic Games and eight World Table Tennis Championships, an enormous wealth of international experience for someone her age.

No doubt the USA and the world will have their eyes on Lily Zhang to see if she can pull off any upsets at the 2017 Uncle Pop Women’s World Cup.

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