Zhang Juanjuan practised athletics while young, but later switched to archery. She first made the Chinese national team in 2001, when she won the Asian title and placed eighth in the World Championships. At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, she took home a silver medal in the team competition, placing 10th individually. Four years later, she again won silver in the team event, but performed better in the individual competition. After only finishing 27th in the ranking round, she faced a tough path to the final, facing two South-Koreans, the dominant nation in the sport. After beating Joo Hyun-Jung and Yun Ok-Hee, equalling the Olympic Record on the latter occasion, she faced Park Seong-Hyeon in the final, the defending champion from Athens. To the delight of the home crowd, Zhang came from three points behind to take the gold medal by just a single point (110-109). In addition to her Olympic exploits, Zhang Juanjuan has won the 2006 World Cup final, won two World Cup events with the Chinese team. Her best World Championships appearance came in 2003, when she was knocked out in the quarter-finals and placed fifth.