By Henry Chen
Zhang Jike posted this in his Facebook account after he and Ma Long clinched the Men’s Doubles title in the 2016 ITTF World Tour SheSays China Open. They defeated their compatriots Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong in the final round.
After the Rio Olympic Games, Zhang Jike was reported to have been thinking about retirement. But he later on clarified that he will continue to adhere with the competition and will not easily end his career.
“Before the Rio Olympic Games, I actually thought that it is my last Olympic Games because I was confused at that time. Winning nor losing did not stimulate me. But after competing, I found that I currently enjoy playing. Whether win or lose, I want to show myself in the arena. Therefore, retirement is still not within what I am considering now. I will not easily end this career,” said Zhang Jike.
Zhang Jike was in a series of activities after the Olympic Games, and the China Open was his first competition after returning from Rio de Janeiro. Despite the hectic schedule, Zhang Jike invested a lot on the training and competition.
He even fought hard in the Men’s Singles semifinals against Ma Long. His fierce personality and persistence were showcased in that battle after he forced his opponent into a full distance match. However, in the deciding game, Ma Long seized his opportunities well. Zhang Jike was eliminated.
Being a Grand Slam champion, Zhang Jike feels that he should not value himself based on the championship titles he earns anymore. For him, it is more about his contribution to the sport.
“In the future, I will not value myself based on how much world titles I have won. What I want to do is to contribute to the Table Tennis sport as much as possible,” Zhang Jike concluded.