Rising Star – October 2019
Twenty-two-year-old Chinese rower Ling Zhang has had a fantastic 2019 – winning quadruple sculls gold at the World Championships and two World Rowing Cup regattas. The two-seat sculler tells us what’s made the difference this year and what she’s looking forward to.
Winning gold made me… very happy. It's the first time that I have won at the World Championships. It's a recognition and reward for me for the effort I have made during this year of training.
I think we were able to succeed this year because… firstly, thanks to our coaches' hard work and coaching, as well as the leaders' support and care for us. We did very well on details - and details decide success or failure. We need to keep working hard. Also, we are rather united and it was a joint effort. We are pretty confident.
We train in… Shunyi District in Beijing. It's a relatively good training base in China.
One of my favourite rowing courses is… the training venue in Spain. We've been to about five training venues this year and that one impressed me most. The water conditions there are quite good and the environment and temperature are very comfortable. I like it very much.
I chose rowing because… rowing is one of the noble sports. It can reflect one's values. And, I like the process of struggling for it.
As a hobby I… play basketball. In my spare time playing basketball can help me release pressure and improve my mood.
My rowing dream is… to stand on the highest podium in the world with our national flag raised and our national anthem playing. It has never changed since I started rowing.
My biggest supporters are… firstly, my parents. They've been my strong back-up and have given me the mental support to keep me training. And our coach Xiuyun Zhang. She teaches and coaches us with care both in training and in life.
When I'm not training I'll… study some English and listen to relaxing songs.
To relax I… try to keep a good state of mind and face everything positively. Sometimes I'll talk to my families and friends. I use my spare time to reduce pressure when necessary and I listen to some music.