Lijuan Geng might be considered old by her competitors, but she prefers to be known as someone with great experience.
At 37, Geng is considered by many to be past her prime for international table tennis, but don't tell her that.
The mother of one has every intention of being just as dangerous as her 20-year-old counterparts at the Olympic Games.
She might not be as quick as she once was, but Geng says experience has allowed her to make up the difference.
Geng first started playing table tennis in her native China at the age of seven and began competing for their national team at 16.
During her nine years with the Chinese team, Geng won four gold medals and one silver at the world championships and was the world's top-ranked player in 1985.
Despite her success, Geng says she was losing her love for the game. Chinese politics dictated that its players be the best and accepted little short of perfection.
Geng moved to Canada in 1989 to be with her fiance, Horatio Pintea, a member of the Canadian national team, and discovered a new-found love for the game.
Geng renewed her international career, winning a number of international competitions, giving her a new-found confidence.
"It felt so good to win," says Geng. "It was more exciting to win as a Canadian."
Mariann Domonkos, coach of the women's national team, says watching Geng play is an impressive sight.
"Her game might have changed over the years," says Domonkos, "but she has this efficiency and technically, she's very sound. I think she will be able to use that experience to her advantage at the Olympics."
-- LISA BURKE
-- Ottawa Sun
Women's Singles: Lijuan Geng, Ottawa, def. Tamara Boros, Croatia, 18-21, 21-19, 21-23, 29-27, 21-14 in first round, advanced to second round.
Women's singles: Lijuan Geng, Ottawa, def. Shirley Zhou, Australia, 21-17, 21-13, 21-15 in Group A play; then beat Nanthana Komwong, Thailand, 21-12, 21-10, 21-13.
Women's doubles: Lijuan Geng, Ottawa, and Marie-Christine Roussy, Le-Gardeur, Que., lost to Miao Miao and Shirley Zhou, Australia, 21-12, 18-21, 21-17 in Group A round-robin play; then lost to Judith Herczig and Jia Liu, Austria, 12-21, 21-10, 21-18.
Lijuan Geng, Ottawa, won 21-17, 21-13, 21-15 over Shirley Zhou, Australia, in round-robin Group A.
Lijuan Geng, Ottawa, and Marie-Christine Roussy, Le-Gardeur, Que., lost in round-robin Group A
2000 Games Table Tennis Coverage