by Henry Chen
Chinese Team’s Zhang Jike, Ma Long and Liu Guoliang looked dashing in their formal attire on the evening of Thursday 15th December as they attended the prestigious 2016 China Top 10 Benefiting Laureus Sports For Good held in Beijing.
Ma Long, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Men’s Singles champion, was presented with the Male Athlete of the Year Award.
“First, I would like to thank the Laureus Awards. I am grateful to all the judges who recognised my efforts in the past year. Secondly, I want to thank the Chinese National Team. This team did not just teach me how to play but taught me how to be a man”, Ma Long
The winner of the London 2012 Olympic Games Men’s Singles title, Zhang Jike was also recognised during the evening. He was awarded the Favourite Male Athlete of the Year Award.
“I definitely have to be grateful for all the fans, including my fans. I also need to thank everyone who is passionate about sport, those who support our athletes”, Zhang Jike
Lastly, the head coach Liu Guoliang was presented with the Outstanding Achievements of the Year Award. According to him, such recognition is a confidence.
“When it comes to table tennis, we always believe that the Chinese Table Tennis Team will win”, Liu Guoliang
After the Rio Olympic Games, there have been rumours that Liu Guoliang might be leaving the Chinese National Team. In an interview with the Chinese media earlier this year in March of this year, Liu Guoliang indirectly addressed the issue.
He answered: “anything is possible.”
However, in his acceptance speech at the event, it seems that Liu Guoliang is set to contribute more for the Chinese National Team.
“My requirements upon my players each day are harsh and cruel because opponents will take advantage of our gentleness. Only if you win the Olympic Games will I show affection. This will bring the true value of pride into your hearts. Therefore, in this new Olympic cycle, I hope that you will all be prepared. I will continue to be harsh and strict. We will set out together”, Liu Guoliang.