Ashley (Shiting) Zhang
– 27 years of badminton experience
– China’s National Junior Champion in girls singles in 1995
– 9th place in mixed doubles in All China Games in 2001
Coach Ashley started playing badminton when she was 9 and was recruited by the Beijing Municipal Badminton Team when she was 11. After she won girls singles in the China National Junior Championship in 1995, she was drafted to the Chinese National Youth Team, where she got a severe injury, and thus, went back to the Beijing Municipal Team. She represented Beijing in the All China Games (全运会) in 2001 and got 9th place in mixed doubles.
Afterwards, Coach Ashley retired as a professional player to study at Peiking University where she continued her involvement with the sport and won multiple championships in the Chinese University Games (全国大学生羽毛球锦标赛).
In 2017, Coach Ashley moved from Beijing to join the Bellevue Badminton Club.
Q. How did you get into the sport of badminton? How old were you when you started playing?
A. Coach Ashley started playing with her father when she was around 5, and then started playing seriously when she was 9 and joined a winter camp hosted by Beijing Shi Cha Hai Sports School (北京什刹海体校).
Q. How long have you been playing badminton?
A. Coach Ashley has been playing badminton for 27 years!
Q. Where did you train?
A. Coach Ashley trained with the Beijing Municipal Badminton Team.
Q. Who did you train with? (coach’s name)
A. Coach Ashley trained with Qiuli Wang (who now runs a badminton club in Boston) and Yingjie Li (who still coaches in Bejing Municipal Badminton Team).
Q. What is your favorite part of the sport?
A. Coach Ashley enjoys using different strategies to control the game.
Q. Do you prefer singles or doubles?
A. Coach Ashley prefers singles but also enjoys playing mixed doubles.
Q. What is your current favorite racket?
A. Yonex Arcsaber 9 FL
Q. What string and tension do you use on your rackets for games?
A. Yonex Nanogy 95 at 28 pounds
Q. What is your favorite activity other than badminton? (e.g. swimming, basketball, watching movies, trying new restaurants, playing video games, hiking, etc.)
A. Baking and gardening
Q. What is your favorite food? (Korean BBQ, hamburgers, chow mien, French fries, brownies, chocolate cake, etc.)
A. Hot pot!
Q. Do you have any pre-match rituals?
A. Nothing particular, but Coach Ashley would try to watch the opponent play beforehand.