USA Table Tennis What's New Diane Jiang Seeks Re...

Diane Jiang Seeks Redemption at 2015 National Team Trials

By Barbara Wei | Feb. 19, 2015, 8:30 a.m. (ET)

Diane Jiang

Diane first learned how to play table tennis after watching her father and older brother play at a local club near their California home over 7 years ago. Although her brother soon stopped playing, Diane took to the sport and competed in her first US National Championships later that year at only 8 years old. Diane remembers that experience clearly, citing it as the first time she felt addicted to the fierce competition of table tennis. That initial taste of victory and defeat propelled her to focus on table tennis and train more intensely. At the age of 9, Diane started going to China for training, where the hyper competitive environment propelled her to improve even more as a player. Diane's focus and commitment to the sport started paying off in 2010, when she won the mini-cadet event at the US Nationals. She repeated her win in 2011. In 2012, she became the US National Cadet Girls Singles Champion. Since then, Diane has continued to find success and took home gold in the Junior Girls Team Event at both the 2013 and 2014 US Nationals.

On the court, Diane is well known for her fighting mentality. Her focus never seems to waver, and her spirited shouts prove how fierce of a competitor she can be. Diane says that even if she's down during a match, she never thinks she's going to lose. Instead, she feels that if she tries a bit harder, she can always come back. However, during the Junior Girls Team Trials at the 2014 US Nationals, Diane (seeded 6th) let her guard down and failed to qualify for either the US Junior National A or B Team. Disappointed but not discouraged, she has increased her training regimen at Zhou Xin Table Tennis Academy to prepare for the 2015 US Women's National and Pan American Team trials (to be held March 6-8th in Texas). Diane's goals for the tournament are obviously to qualify for the National Women's Team, but also to prove that she has what it takes to succeed after a setback. She plans to compete with a renewed mindset and a "never give up" attitude.

Outside of table tennis, Diane shares a love of Korean dramas with fellow female star table tennis player Crystal Wang. The two often spend their evenings at tournaments together bonding over the newest episodes. A 10th grader at Valley Christian High School in San Jose (Ariel Hsing's alma mater), Diane also juggles an impressive academic workload while still finding time to draw and paint with her mother (who is an art teacher). Diane hopes that the "never give up" attitude she has developed through table tennis will help her achieve her ultimate goals of making the Olympic team and attending one of her dream universities in the future.

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Diane Jiang

USA Table Tennis