A fierce battle took place between two female competitors from China's national billiard team on November 30 at the women's CBSA Haizhu 9-Ball International Open in the southern province of Guangdong.
During the match, Fu Xiaofang held the lead most of the way through, taking the game to match point. But her competitor, Chen Siming, who has won eight championship titles this year, reversed the situation at the last moment, finally winning out.
Despite being knocked out of the competition, Fu said: "In fact, my mental state was good when meeting Chen on the court today. I felt like I was playing in a training session in our team. I was relaxed."
During the match, Fu made some mental adjustments.
"But I also wanted to avoid letting myself down or wasting my family's support if I did not treat this match seriously," she added.
This year is of great significance to Fu.
In March, after nearly two years' rest, the mother of newborn twins made an impressive comeback at the Chinese Pool World Championship, becoming its champion.
After that, she finished third at the World 9-ball China Open in Shanghai. In October, she became runner up of the Chinese Pool International Open held in Beijing.
Within a year, Fu had won gold, silver and bronze medals. "This is kind of 'grand slam,'" said Fu, smiling.
"I'm happy that I achieved such a result without any regular training. As a sportswoman, I have the right attitude towards this profession when I play."
This year, Fu returned to the national team and took training alongside her fellow players.
"I also want to thank my team and the CBSA (Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association) for giving me an opportunity to return to the team and continue to pursue my dream," she said.
Despite her family's strong support for her career, Fu has to face more challenges than ever before.
"I miss my sons very much whenever I leave home and take part in competitions. They can say 'daddy' and 'uncle', but they cannot say 'mummy,'"
When she talked about her children, tears ran down her eyes.
"I really loathe leaving my kids, but I also want to adhere to my dream. For me, this is a hard choice," she said.
"In the past months, I lost much time to accompany my kids. So when I picked up the cue again, I told myself that, however I play, I must live up to my effort and the expectations of my family as well as all my friends who support me."
(Source: sina.com.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)