Sports

Palo Alto's Zhang wins fifth U.S. Table Tennis singles title

 

Palo Alto High grad and Olympian Lily Zhang won her fifth women's singles title at the US National Table Tennis Championships in Las Vegas over the weekend — and then the earth shook.

Moments after receiving her trophy, the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that hit California was felt at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

That's the kind of impact Zhang has made in her sport. After waiting a year, she finally grabbed her fifth title. Zhang lost to Liu Juan in last year's championship match after winning in 2016 and 2017.

This year, she downed 14-year-old left-hander Rachel Sung in five sets, 11-8, 11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 11-6.

"Words cannot express how grateful I am to the team behind everything - my sponsor (Joola), my home club, ICC Table Tennis, my coaches, my family, friends, and fans," Zhang wrote on Instagram. "I never would have gotten to this point without your support."

The 23-year-old Zhang, who turned pro in January and has been on the ITTF World Tour, faced tough, young player Amy Wang, second in the world in Junior Girls, in the semifinals.

Zhang trailed 3-1 after four games but an 11-3 win in the fifth set sparked a rally and she won in seven.

— Palo Alto Sports Online

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