Olympic Experience Carries Team USA to World University Games Main Draw

By Matt Hetherington | Aug. 23, 2017, 12:07 p.m. (ET)

Tim Wang teamusa Olympian

On the table in Taiwan and two time Olympian Timothy Wang found himself representing USA yet again, even after retiring from competition and full time training he was back in US colors. After competing in Rio 2016 his priorities shifted and Tim began to coach more and try and help the younger generations reach their goals, he also started focusing more on the education which he missed out on whilst dedicating his time to becoming a professional player. 

Enrolling in Pillar College in 2017 saw Timothy pursuing his goals of achieving a college education, whilst also helping the debut team to achieve outstanding results - champions in the Pennsylvania division, the Mid-Atlantic Regional and 5th at the 2017 NCTTA National Championships. His results saw him selected to the US team for the 2017 World University Games in Taiwan. 

A crucial match with Greece would be the make or break for team USA, a win putting them through to the main draw of the prestigious event. Wang would head the lineup in the all-important match, admitting a sense of nostalgia to be representing his nation again and humbled at the opportunity to play under the American flag at such a large event.

Wang may not be training full-time anymore but his years of experience, including both the London and Rio Olympic Games, helped him pull through a tense first match in a 5 game margin over Giorgos Konstantinopoulos to give USA the early lead.

Rio Olympic teammate Yijun Feng followed but despite holding a 2-1 lead was narrowly defeated by Konstantinos Konstantinopoulos in the fifth game. Jason Plog faced Ioannis Papadakis and fell in 4 games. Greece held a 2-1 lead and needed just one further match to advance into the main draw.

Coming into his second singles match Yijun sought to redeem himself and did just that with a sweeping 3-0 win over Giorgos to draw the tie even and put the pressure all upon Timothy Wang going into the final match.

A true slugfest ensued with games going back and forth and all the way to deuce. 

'The bench and the crowd were cheering for me the whole time that was what really kept me pumped up so I kept fighting to the end' - Timothy Wang.

In the deciding game of that crucial match it would be Wang for the USA who closed out with a decisive 11-3 win. Victory for team USA and a ticket into the main draw as the second place qualifiers in the group.

A personal victory for Wang who is enjoying the experience in Taiwan, with the support of family and friends there and was full of praise for the event organizers and hosts.

The team advanced to the main draw and were eliminated by China in the last 16 teams by a 3-0 margin. 

The girls team also advanced into the main draw after 3-0 wins over Sri Lanka and Croatia in the group stage. They suffered a narrow loss in the main draw to Romania, 3-2. Lily Zhang carrying a foot injury played in the third spot and won her match while Jennifer Wu took the second win. London Olympian Erica Wu rounded off the team but together they were unable to overcome the final hurdle.