Friday 16 January 2015

Yip Repeats Success as Coach of the Year

Lily Yip was US National Coach of the Year in 2013 after a successful year, but 2014 was quite something else with a string of historic events for the USA with Yip leading the teams. Having been at Lily's club for some time now it is clear that Lily Yip is no ordinary coach. She is one to go far beyond the call of duty for table tennis, it is her passion and her life.

In 2014 Lily packed up and left her club where she dedicates hours each day to coaching her young students and keeping her club maintained to the highest standard. She headed away to China with Lily Zhang for the Road to Nanjing Training Camp, then across to Korea for the Korean Junior Open where Zhang made history by reaching the final of the Under 21 event.

Lily Zhang and Coach Lily Yip at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing 2014
The exhausting schedule continued with Yip travelling to Japan for the next Junior Circuit Event. I distinctly remember after the final stint in China, Lily returned to the club for just a single day and then caught a flight to Canada to coach the US Junior Girls team in the North American Team Championships. You simply can't put a price on that kind of dedication!

The Junior Girls team qualified after beating Canada and not long after that Lily was back in the air, flying to Nanjing for the Youth Olympic Games with Lily Zhang. Again history was made, Zhang played incredibly well and the moment she won the bronze medal after victory over Japan was really something special.

The result was another historic milestone for the USA, the first Olympic or Youth Olympic medal for the nation, one Lily Zhang should be very proud of and that I know Lily Yip was honoured to be a part of.

The year was not over yet though. Lily's next stop was the World Junior Championships in Shanghai. She left her beloved training center yet again and departed to China with the team of Lily Zhang, Prachi Jha, Crystal Wang and Angela Guan. The team played incredibly well and made it through the group stages. The first big result came against Russia where the girls were able to win 3-0 in the round of 16 stage, setting up a quarterfinal appearance against South Korea, an incredibly tough opponent on the world stage.

The result sent ripples around the globe, not only a victory for USA, but a 3-0 win. History had been made yet again by America who were now in the semifinal of the World Junior Championships. Despite their efforts they were defeated by Japan but still clenched a bronze medal in the event, the first medal for the US in the event and an amazing result for the team.

Team USA in the Semifinal of the World Junior Championships
Lily stayed on in China for a bit of extra time and then headed home, only to depart to Las Vegas for the US National Champs where she won the Over 50 Women's Singles. Needless to say an incredibly busy year for Lily Yip. Having spent a lot of 2014 with her I will say one thing. She does not rest if there is work to be done, she does not hesitate to help whenever someone asks or is in need and she is committed to table tennis just as much as the air she breathes. She is a remarkable and inspiring coach and very much deserves 2014 National Coach of the Year. Congratulations to Lily Yip and to Lily Zhang and the US Junior Girls Team for an outstanding year! :)

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