10 Sep 2016

Following a victorious Rio Olympic Games, Ma Long has withdrawn from this year’s Liebherr 2016 Men’s World Cup scheduled from Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd October.

The withdrawal has given Swede, Par Gerell, an opportunity to compete; as of now, China will only have one player in the competition and that is Xu Xin; as in Verviers in 2013, it is a test for the Chinese pen-hold player.

By Henry Chen 

The 2016 Men’s World Cup will be held in Saarbrücken, Germany. It is a gathering of few of the greatest players that we have right now. That should include the reigning Olympic champion Ma Long.

However, his name is not in the confirmed list of players. The top ranking player and the latest Grand Slam champion Ma Long has withdrew from the competition. The Chinese Team now has one player left. He is the Asian Cup winner, Xu Xin.

This competition could be the biggest test for Xu Xin so far in this new Olympic cycle. Pressure is much higher for the left handed pen-hold player as he can not afford any mistakes for the sake of the team. One mistake and China could lose the World Cup title.

The last time the Chinese Team lost the title was in 2009. Vladimir Samsonov defeated Chen Qi for the championship trophy. Since then, China has secured the final victory each year. This time, continuity will be in the hands of Xu Xin.

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Xu Xin finished fourth in the 2012 Men’s World Cup after losing to Vladimir Samsonov in the bronze medal fight. (Photo from Sina Sports)

Having expressed his desire to be in the Tokyo Olympic Singles, Xu Xin should definitely make each performance count, especially an important competition like the World Cup. He needs to prove his reliability and of course consistency.

The 34-year old Swede Par Gerell was given the opportunity to be in the competition in substitute of Ma Long. Vladimir Samsonov, Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Jun Mizutani, among others are also expected to grace the competition come October 1st.

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Par Gerell in the 2012 London Olympic Games. (Photo by Saeed Khan/Getty Images)
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