25 Sep 2016

Ma Long had a victorious trip in Rio de Janeiro after he won the Olympic Singles gold against his compatriot Zhang Jike. It was not just a normal victory as it made him the most successful player in the men’s table tennis today. According to him, such feat wouldn’t be possible if not for Liu Guoliang.

By Henry Chen 

Liu Guoliang has been to six Olympic Games. In two of them, he was one of the men on duty in the arena. As for the other four Olympic Games, he was in the sidelines as the coach. Being a player and a coach, Liu Guoliang said that he is more nervous as the latter.

“Because being a player, there’s no time to think too much. The attention is all on the game, but as a coach, I think a lot of things. I even think if we lose, how will I explain,” said Liu Guoliang.

Fortunately, Liu Guoliang doesn’t have anything to explain after the Rio Olympic Games. Ma Long and Zhang Jike didn’t have any surprises in the Singles competition as both reached the finals safe and sound.

As for Ma Long, he revealed that he was pressured facing Zhang Jike in the final stage. But as the match was nearing, he was able to relax himself and eventually played out his true level.

“Actually before the match, I had pressure. But during lunch time of the day of the final match, I instead relaxed myself,” Ma Long said.

After the Rio Olympic Games, Ma Long is now an accomplished player. He is not just a Grand Slam champion but a Full Grand Slam winner which means he has won all the important competitions in the Domestic, Asian and International circuits.

Ma Long knows that he wouldn’t be able to achieve such feat if not with the help and encouragement from the head coach Liu Guoliang, Ma Long expressed his gratefulness towards his coach during the Teacher’s Day in China.

“The main thing is that you pay attention with your health. Like you said, there were success and defeats in the six times you attended the Olympic Games. Those hardships can be unbearable for ordinary people. You did not just teach me to play but you also taught me how to live. You are a teacher during the day and a father in my life. I will still need your guidance in my future journey,” Ma Long said.

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