By Henry Chen
The Liebherr 2016 Men’s World Cup officially opens its curtain today 1st October in Saarbrücken, Germany. Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin, both representing the Chinese National Team, are the highest ranking players on duty in the competition.
With their high status, much are expected from these Chinese delegates, not just by the people but also by their coaching staff.
The Men’s World Cup is one of the most important tournaments in the table tennis sport. This year’s competition is also the first ever world title contest in the new Olympic cycle.
Therefore, having the chance to compete this weekend is totally important for Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin. They can’t afford to miss it because they still have something to prove.
Xu Xin was included in the 2016 Olympic lineup of the Chinese Team. But just playing in the Team event is definitely not his goal. After the Rio Olympic Games, Xu Xin already said: “Tokyo, wait for me!” That states what could be his next goal.
“The biggest opponent is myself, so I will try my best and perform well,” Xu Xin said.
Meanwhile, Fan Zhendong, despite the strong determination, failed to represent the Chinese Team in Rio de Janeiro. He was denied of the active participation in the Olympic arena. Of course, such experience is a driving force for this young player to establish a good head start in this new Olympic cycle.
“I am very lucky I can attend the World Cup. I will keep going,” Fan Zhendong said.
Clearly, both of these players are eyeing the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Singles qualification. That’s why this year’s World Cup is their very first trial to prove their capacity to the public and to the coaching staff of the Chinese Team.