By Henry Chen
“Congratulations to the Chinese Table Tennis Team for sweeping four golds once again,” started Fan Zhendong.
The 19-year old Chinese player stands second in the world rankings. This could have been his ticket to the Olympic Singles. Unfortunately, his lack of experience in big competitions dragged him out of the Olympic lineup for Rio de Janeiro. Instead of getting the Singles qualification, Fan Zhendong was assigned as the substitute player.
Even though he was not able to actively participate in the biggest competition in the world, Fan Zhendong is not too negative about it. In fact, he feels proud of just being a part of the most powerful team in the sport at this point in time.
“I am very happy to be able to become a member of this glorious team. This Olympic Games made me feel the glory of our team and realise my responsibility,” he added.
Fan Zhendong may be young but this guy is full of ambition and determination. Giving up is definitely not in his vocabulary. He was aware that aiming to be qualified for the Rio Olympic Games was too high but he never gave up the possibility until the last minute.
Now that another Olympic cycle will unfold, everyone’s eyes is on Fan Zhendong. In the Rio Olympic Games, he did not just witness the victory of his team but it also made him understand fully how vital his role is for the future of the team. Therefore, he aspires to set himself apart from the pack.
“I hope that I can cut through the clutter for my team and fight this extraordinary honour for my country,” Fan Zhendong concluded.
The last appearance of Fan Zhendong in the table tennis arena was in the 2016 ITTF Japan Open where he convincingly secured the championship title in the Men’s Singles against compatriot Xu Xin.
Next stop for Fan Zhendong will be the China Open. What are your expectations on him?