21 Aug 2020

The race for the men’s team crown at the prestigious “Tokyo 2020 Preparation for China Table Tennis - Olympic Simulation Games" came to a close on Friday 21st August as the triumvirate of Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin won gold in Lingshui City, Hainan Province.

On the final day, it was all about the men’s team final. Ma Long, Xu Xin, and Fan Zhendong defeated the men’s second team composed of Wang Chuqin, Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan 3-0 to secure top spot.

Before the match, the men’s team coach, Qin Zhijian, bluntly stated that the second team is composed of two left-handed players and one right-handed player, and how that reflected the playing style the Japanese team. This was a proper simulated “China-Japan duel”; he believed that level was even higher.

When the match started, in the doubles, the first team continued the previous Ma Long and Xu Xin combination, while the second team started with Liang Jingkun and Wang Chuqin. In the first game, Liang and Wang took the lead 3-1. Ma and Xu quickly stabilized the situation to make it 4-4, before scoring six points in a row to reach game point. They won first game 11-7.

In the second game, the “Dragon and Cloudwalker” still had the advantage, maintaining a significant lead and registering an 11-5 win. Liang and Wang stepped up their attacking play in the third and led by 7-5. Ma and Xu recovered swiftly, scoring four points before their compatriots locked the game at 9-9. Ma and Xu left nothing to chance, securing the next two points in a row to seal victory at 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-9).

“We are familiar with each other. Today, we have made some changes in the first three games. Today we mainly controlled the serve. The opponent is always waiting for us to make a mistake. But today we did not.” Xu Xin

In the second battle, Fan Zhendong played against Lin Gaoyuan. In the first game, Lin Gaoyuan used his speed to the maximum. After a tie at 6-6, he scored four points to reach game point. After Fan secured the next two points, Lin grabbed his chance and won 11-8. In their next game, Fan gradually opened up after some changes to his serve. Lin was relatively passive when receiving his opponent’s new high-quality offense which helped Fan win the game with a huge 11-3 advantage.

This win for Fan completely tilted the balance of victory and defeat in the tie. From the third game, Fan always controlled the situation as he won back-to-back 11-8 and 11-6, securing a 3-1 victory.

The third contest was played between Ma Long and Wang Chuqin. After a series of previous matches, Ma Long looked to be in good condition. Facing Wang Chuqin, who is also from Beijing, Ma took a 7-3 lead at the start. After Wang scored four points to tie the score, Ma retaliated by opening up a gap of two points. Immediately after that Wang scored three points in a row to reach game point at 10-9 but Ma saved two game points in total to secure a 14-12 win after another tug of war.

Ma Long, clinical as always.


In the second game, Ma started to fully use his range of attack Wang, who had missed the opportunity in the first game, was affected by his mentality. Ma went on win 11-6, leading by 2-0 in the match. In the third game, Wang, who had nothing left to lose, scored 5 points in a row to take the lead before Ma steadily played and tied the score to 9-9. Despite saving three game points, Ma could not prevent Wang winning the game 14-12.

However, it was to be a win in vain as Ma wrapped up the tie with an 11-7 win to claim gold for his team.

“Recently, I have lost against Wang Chuqin. The most important thing is to let go of my mentality and work hard. In terms of attention, I did a good job in this match.” Ma Long

After the match, the head coach of the Chinese men’s team, Qin Zhijian was full of confidence:

“ The ability and experience of the first team is higher than those of the second team. The second team performed well in singles. Next, a team needs more pressure and motivation to prove themselves in the team competition.” Qin Zhijian, Chinese men’s team coach

The fourth men’s team composed of Xu Chenhao, Zhao Zihao and Zhou Yu previously won the bronze medal in this mock competition.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ma long Fan Zhendong xu xin