By Henry Chen
The Chinese delegation arrived in Chengdu for the 2016 ITTF World Tour SheSays China Open before the competition officially started. This gave some of the players time to interact with their fans and to adjust for the tournament as well.
As the reigning Olympic champion, Ma Long of course had a very warm response from the local fans. He said that the credit from the success in the Olympic Games does not just go to him but to the whole Chinese Team.
“Winning the title is not just my personal honour. The credit goes to the whole Chinese Team,” Ma Long said.
Ma Long is also the reigning champion in this week’s competition. Would he still have the energy to defend the title? Ma Long’s first opponent in the main draw is Leong Chee Feng of Malaysia.
The reigning Olympic Women’s Singles title holder, Ding Ning also had a good time interacting with the fans. She complimented the local food of Chengdu.
“The local food in Chengdu is really delicious. But I am gaining weight. I can’t be too fat,” explained Ding Ning.
While the Olympic champions did not really talk about their expectations on this week’s competition, one player was serious to admit that she wants to win. She is the 21-year old Chengdu local, Zhu Yuling.
“I won the China Open championship title last year. This time, of course, I still want to win. I want to offer the title to my hometown fans,” Zhu Yuling admitted.
Last year, the 21-year old player had a spectacular performance in the same stage after she overcame Liu Shiwen in the semifinals and Ding Ning in the final bout.
Zhu Yuling was in the Rio Olympic Games but did not have the chance to show her abilities. This year’s China Open would be a good opportunity for her to prove herself again in the international circuit.