By Henry Chen
The 19-year old Fan Zhendong appeared in the 2016 Chinese Super League with one thing in mind: that is to win. Indeed, after ten rounds of competition, he was the only undefeated player.
On Tuesday 22nd November, Fan Zhendong’s winning streak ended with a three-one defeat against Liang Jingkun in the 11th round of the men’s competition.
Both players in that battle were amazingly brave showing no signs of surrender. In several games, both players meet each other in match point. At the end of four games, Liang Jingkun prevailed (11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 13-11).
Compared to last season, Fan Zhendong has only posted 15 straight wins this year. He recorded an amazing 25 consecutive victories in the 2015 competition.
The record makes him the best player in the competition yet. Ma Long’s record is 24 consecutive victories.
After the latest round, a big change took place in the individual ranking. Liang Jingkun of the Bazhou Team is now the leader in the Men’s Division with 291.5 points. Fan Zhendong settles in the second place with 287.5 points.
After the first half of the preliminary stage, Liang Jingkun has impressed. He is not yet in the ranks of Ma Long, Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong in the Chinese National Team, but he shows to be a promising player; his contribution to his team places Bazhou in third place with eight wins and three losses. They are tied with Shanghai.
Could this affect the confidence of Fan Zhendong? Probably not.
In 2015, Fan Zhendong was just 18 years old but he was already able to break the record of Ma Long. It was definitely a huge achievement for a young player. However, such winning streak didn’t sufficed for Fan Zhendong.
Fan Zhendong has always set his eyes on the Olympic Games. For him, as long as he continues to narrow his gap against the leaders Ma Long, Zhang Jike and Xu Xin, then he is on his way to his ultimate goal.
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