by Ian Marshall, Editor
Ma Long, who fulfils the role of head of the Chinese Table Tennis Association’s Athlete Commission, called all members of the team present in Doha for meeting to discuss the current unfortunate situation.
It was at that gathering the decision was made to donate the prize money to the cause; furthermore, Liu Shiwen, who some days ago was forced to withdraw through injury, made a most generous gesture. She agreed to donate the equivalent of the prize money, won by the winner of the women’s singles event.
The gesture is to be applauded in a time that is totally unique; tournaments have been cancelled, postponed and rearranged in the past, never has there been such a situation as the one currently experienced. In the light of the present experience the sport of table tennis has responded.
Moreover, it is not just China, great credit must also go the Qatar Table Tennis Association; under the initiative of Khalil Al-Mohannadi, the President; when the problems were first realised, within a period of 24 hours he organised the Aspire Academy as a training venue.
At that time the Hana Bank 2020 World Team Championships was still on schedule for the end of March; for Ryu Seungmin, the President of the Korean Table Tennis Federation, it has been difficult times with the tournament having to be postponed.
However, he understands the situation thoroughly and he is a man, who like the current Chinese national team, values humanity.
In 2008, the Chinese city of Sichuan in Chengdu province suffered a major earthquake; he donated US$10,000. The spirit of goodwill lives on, as strong as ever.