By Henry Chen
“I am a person who is in pursuit of perfection”, Ma Long
Such statement was delivered by no less than the Grand Slam champion and winner of vital competitions worldwide, Ma Long.
He successfully completed his Grand Slam feat in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games following his victory over teammate Zhang Jike in the final. It was a long journey for him but because of his persistence, he finally achieved what he truly desires as an athlete.
However, as a true sportsman, his competitive spirit can’t just settle. Ma Long believes that despite his achievements and talent, there are still potentials he wants to explore.
“My talents in table tennis are still quite good but there are some times that I would feel the need to learn from the strengths of my teammates. I feel that it is good for me that I would be able to do it. There is still a variety of potentials. There is still room for improvement.” Ma Long added.
Ma Long refers to young players like Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan; for him, their fast development is really commendable.
In this season’s Chinese Super League, both of these young players are contributing well to their respective teams. Fan Zhendong is leading Bayi to the play-offs while Lin Gaoyuan is Ma Long’s teammate in Shandong Weiqiao; their team is still undefeated since the start of the season.
It is undeniable that these young players still have a gap against the main trio of the Chinese National Team: Ma Long, Zhang Jike and Xu Xin. However, Ma Long believes that he needs to keep up with the advancements in the sport as well.
“Today’s development in table tennis is quite fast, just like Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan. Players from their generation still have some gaps compared to us but I also need to advance with the times.” Ma Long
Ma Long is the new leader of the Men’s Division in the Chinese Super League with 18 wins and two losses. Also he is scheduled to be on duty in the upcoming Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals to be held in Doha later this month.