By Henry Chen
A large number of fans eager to meet their table tennis idols waited in the morning of August 20th in the Beijing Capital International Airport. These fans, mostly women, carried gifts, posters and flowers to give a warm welcome for their home-grown champions.
Ma Long, the newest Grand Slam champion in the men’s division, can’t help but be proud of what he’s done in Rio.
“The Olympic Games is each person’s dream,” Ma Long said. “So being able to get involved in such competition makes me really proud. I am very satisfied.”
The 27-year old champion surely feels overwhelmed of the applause and greetings from people, but there is one thing that he wants more than anything.
“I am looking forward to taking a rest for about one or two days,” he added.
Team China gave their efforts and time in preparing for the Rio Olympic Games. Months worth of preparation plus more than a week of nerve-racking matches in Rio simply make these champions worn-out.
Xu Xin said after he arrived in Beijing: “I really miss my bed,”
“I really hope I can give myself one week to sleep, eat, and not be bothered. I really hope I can get some rest,” Li Xiaoxia said. She also revealed that she already shed 8 pounds.
While most of the members of the Chinese Team are already enjoying their rest, Ding Ning still felt restless. The Olympic champion had to stay longer in the Olympic Village since she was assigned to be China’s flag bearer in the closing ceremonies.
She admitted that she still hasn’t gotten enough sleep.
“Probably because my energy hasn’t died down yet. Aside from that, it is also because I am still in the Olympic Village. I just have to wait to go home and have a real rest,” she said.
As for Zhang Jike, maybe he had enough rest in Rio that he doesn’t need more now. He was seen training by himself.