By Henry Chen
The 2016 Olympic title holder Ma Long recently gave his word that he will be adhering to the competitions lined up for him. That includes the 2016 Chinese Super League which will commence some time next month.
This Table Tennis league is considered to be the most difficult and with the highest level of competition in the sport. Of course the top ranking players from the Chinese National Team are expected to be in attendance.
Aside from them, foreign players like Timo Boll, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Jun Mizutani and Joo Saehyuk are just some of the popular foreign players who have participated in the Super League.
This season, one player is reported to have decided to skip the competition. He is no other than the Grand Slam champion and the Shandong main player, Zhang Jike.
CCTV reporter, Li Wujun stated in his Weibo account the reasons for Zhang Jike’s withdrawal. He said that the first reason is the back injury. The second reason is the the league’s schedule which happens to have two matches per week. Zhang Jike finds it too demanding. The third reason is the playing condition.
Included in the post was an apology from Zhang Jike to his club, Shandong Luneng.
Last season, Zhang Jike was in a big controversy concerning him and his team. Zhang Jike first suffered from a major back injury after the 2015 World Championships. That forced him to miss several rounds in the Super League.
As a result, Shandong Luneng had doubts on the capacity of Zhang Jike to deliver in the competition and delayed the countersigning of the player’s contract. There was also a dispute on the amount of compensation. Zhang Jike’s personal reaction was a boycott.
However, the season still ended with Zhang Jike playing for the Shandong Luneng. The team reached the playoffs but lost to Ningbo for the seat in the final round. Ma Long’s Ningbo was the winner in the 2015 season.
How do you accept Zhang Jike’s decision?