Local gymnast takes home gold in Germany
Zhang Jin, 18, from Minhang, won a gold medal at the FIG Individual All-Around World Cup held in Stuttgart, Germany last month. It is the first win for the Chinese women’s gymnastics team in seven years.
“My performance on the vault and uneven bars weren’t my best,” Zhang said after the competition. “I was a bit nervous, but I kept myself together and told myself to just focus on each move.”
The balance beam is Zhang’s forte, where she posted the highest score of the competition. Her floor exercise won her the second-highest score.
“I was anxious and worried, but I really thought she could win,” said Zhang Guoping, father of Zhang Jin. “The excitement of sports is that you never know the result until the end. Cameramen like to give champion more close-ups, and I noticed Zhang’s face appearing quite often.”
Zhang Jin was ranked sixth in last year’s FIG All-Around World Cup. This is the first world championship she has won.
“As her parent, I naturally hoped she would win, but it still came as a surprise,” said her father. “Technically speaking, I think her overall ability ranked fourth among the eight contestants, but her performance was stable. That’s her strong point. When other contestants made mistakes, she just kept her cool.”
After her victory, she expressed deep gratitude to her coaches. She also said she would reward herself by buying a new watch.
Zhang joined the national team when she was 13 and moved to Beijing for her training. When her parents suggested visiting her during the Spring Festival, she demurred, saying she really couldn’t give up training time.
“When we miss her, we just look at her photos and go through WeChat history,” said her father. “In order to maintain training discipline, she’s not allowed to carry her phone around with her, so we can’t just call her anytime we want.”