21 Mar 2017

As the only active player these days who have won the most important competitions in table tennis, Zhang Jike is indeed the most successful player in modern times.

However, this profile is also the very reason why Zhang Jike is still experiencing stability problems even as the Olympic Games was nearing. Liu Guoliang believes that there are too many burdens for the Grand Slam champion.

By Henry Chen

Liu Guoliang’s Concerns

The Chinese Men’s Team concluded their long period of training for the Olympic Games with a warm-up match several weeks ago in China. In that competition, Ma Long was the only player who maintained an undefeated status while both Zhang Jike and Xu Xin posted two defeats.

Zhang Jike definitely has a big responsibility on his shoulders being one of the two players of the Chinese Team for the Olympic Singles, and Liu Guoliang can’t hide his concerns about it.

“Although the Grand Slam champion was able to have some high quality shots, he has a difficulty in maintaining his condition for a long time. In competitions, the initiative and enthusiasm are not satisfactory.” Liu Guoliang said.

Zhang Jike’s Burdens

The Chinese Team’s head coach further believes that the reason why problems still exist in Zhang Jike is that the Grand Slam champion still has a lot of burdens on his back.

“Zhang Jike hasn’t completely dropped his previous achievements and his Grand Slam status. He still carries the burden of his past results. Actually, he doesn’t have any technical advantage. He mostly relies on the experiences he had in those big competitions.” The coach added.

“Only after he would be able to set those burdens aside, and find himself, then he would have some hope.” Liu Guoliang said.

In Defence To Zhang Jike

Despite of the people worrying about Zhang Jike’s condition, and while a lot of his opponents are gaining confidence from it, Liu Guoliang still believes that his disciple can once again surprise the people with a good fight in the Olympics.

In 2013 World Championships, a lot of people doubted Zhang Jike but he surprised everyone with his performance, successfully defending his world championship title.

Zhang Jike will debut in the competition on August 8, 23:00 local time in Rio.

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