By Henry Chen
Liu Jikang had a powerful debut in the 2016 Chinese Super League last Saturday, 15th October. After all, he just defeated the strongest player on earth right now.
He won over Ma Long in 15-13, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5.
“The match was very intense. I usually lose in 0-3 when we encounter each other before. My goal today was to win game after game. I rarely win,” Liu Jikang said.
After the match, Ma Long congratulated his opponent for a wonderful performance. However, Liu Jikang simply can’t take the credit. He believes that luck played out a very vital role in his performance.
“I was extremely lucky to win today. I am absolutely happy. However, I also felt some regret because my team still lost,” he added.
Shenzhen lost the match in 1-3.
17th December, 1991, Liu Jikang was born to a family of teachers. Both his parents are instructors but his chosen career was different. He chose to be a table tennis player representing the Chinese National Team.
Liu Jikang had his highlight in the strongest team in the world in 2013. At that time, he did well in the early stages of the squad trials for the Liebherr World Table Tennis Championships in Paris. However, he was not able to maintain his momentum and failed to make it into the competition.
Liu Jikang trains with Zhang Jike under the coaching of Xiao Zhan. As of now, he is known to be the best sparring partner of the Chinese Women’s Team. But, he also hopes for that time when he will not just be a sparring partner.
Turning 25 this year, Liu Jikang is still hopeful. He believes that:
“As long as I continue to improve and seize my opportunities, there will come a day that I will shine.”