By Henry Chen
At age 16, Fan Zhendong had his first appearance in the World Championships. Despite the great potential he had at that time, Paris was not so great for him. He experienced an early elimination in round 32 of the Liebherr 2013 World Championships Men’s Singles. He was swept by the eventual winner Zhang Jike.
Fan Zhendong had his second participation in the competition and it was in front of his own crowd in Suzhou. This time, he played much better and reached the semi-final round. That was his last stop in the competition after he was beaten by Ma Long in five games.
Now, Fan Zhendong already has his gears up for the 2017 World Championships. He is aware of his strengths and hope to use them to his advantage.
“The most important thing in getting my first world title is the increased confidence. I believe in myself more. I also have higher expectations. After having the World Cup title, I have to take one step higher. I hope that it will be a good start and have a more favourable outlook for next year’s World Championships,” Fan Zhendong said.
It is common knowledge that Fan Zhendong is aiming for bigger achievements. He aims to be the greatest player in this world. So naturally, his next goal is the World Championships.
“Everyone told me that I am the hottest candidate for the 2020 Olympic Games. However I am still just starting now. I will use my strength and achievements to prove that I can get the Olympic Singles qualification in Tokyo,” he added.
Fan Zhendong recently raised his status in table tennis after he successfully secured his first ever senior world title in Saarbrücken, Germany. He overcame Xu Xin in the final round of the Liebherr 2016 Men’s World Cup.
He did not just become the 18th Chinese champion in the Men’s World Cup but also became the youngest to have won the title as well.