There are many great California Golden Bears athletes out there in the United States, male and female, black and white, gay and straight, representing innumerable sports and competing at a high level.
With regards to American sports, few are currently as dominant at the national level as UC Berkeley junior and Calympian Lily Zhang.
Zhang won her fourth US Table Tennis title in six years and her second in a row, not dropping a single match and sweeping through her title match with Jennifer Wu, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9.
Zhang is the only American (man or woman) to be ranked in the top 100 of the international rankings (currently 83rd overall). Zhang has competed in two straight Olympics, making it to the third round in Rio.
If you want to see where she started from, the documentary Top Spin charts her path to London in 2012 and is available on Netflix.
Zhang is staying this dominant at women’s table tennis in the United States all while attending UC Berkeley at the same time. Zhang is still at school at Cal finishing her psychology degree, and wanted to be an inspiration to student-athletes who can excel at many things.
The junior at the University of California, Berkeley, won $8,000. She called her title a testament to what can be done while being a full-time psychology major.
“This shows to juniors and kids that they don’t have to give up their passion,” Zhang said Friday night. “They can do both.”
You can watch Lily’s full championship match below!