By Henry Chen
Standards are definitely high within the Chinese National Team. With a pool of exceptionally talented players, the coaching staff will naturally pick the crème dela crème, establishing a tough competition among its members.
Xu Xin, who is the highest ranking left handed pen-hold player in the world, is currently facing such challenging competition. As the new Olympic cycle has started, setbacks were recorded.
Xu Xin, in roughly two months, has already posted three defeats. Two of them were from foreign players, Jun Mizutani of Japan in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Wong Chun Ting of Hong Kong in the 2016 SheSays China Open.
The third and the most recent loss was against Fan Zhendong in the Liebherr 2016 Men’s World Cup final bout.
So what are the problems of Xu Xin? His coach answered two things: confidence and techniques.
“Xu Xin’s main problem now is to have a strong heart. Second is that there are loopholes in his techniques,” coach Wu Jingping said in his Weibo post.
Xu Xin definitely has a big advantage over his foreign competitors. Against Jun Mizutani, Xu Xin remained unbeaten in all their international encounters before the Olympic Games. The incident in Rio was the first defeat recorded by the Chinese player against Mizutani.
It is also the same record that he had against Wong Chun Ting. In fact, in all their encounters prior to the 2016 SheSays China Open, Wong hasn’t won more than one game in their matches.
However, in their recent battles, Xu Xin failed to utilise his advantages.
Losing is definitely not a delightful thing for any player in the Chinese Team more so losing to a foreigner. It makes the loss much more serious. It is actually considered as a mortal sin among Chinese players.
Having high expectations in this new Olympic cycle requires Xu Xin to invest more in his trainings and preparations. If he wants to follow the achievements of Zhang Jike and Ma Long, then he needs to address the problems as soon as possible.
It is still too early in this new Olympic cycle. If he wants to, Xu Xin can still definitely catch up.