2011-WTTC

Liu Guoliang: Zhang Jike Is The X Factor In The Wttc

Liu Guoliang: Zhang Jike is the X Factor in the WTTC
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Guoping (Chinese National Team) has an unwritten rule that anyone who is yelled or scolded by Liu Guoliang, is the person who the coaching staff thinks deserving. Today after the training, Liu Guoliang said to Zhang Jike, “If you will train again as bad as this, then you get out.” This, despite a harsh front, Liu Guoliang is optimistic for Zhang Jike. A reporter from CCTV also revealed that if Zhang Jike will reach the finals in the WTTC, then he will be short listed for next year’s London Olympics.

The WTTC in Rotterdam is fast approaching with less than 20 days from the opening day of the tournament. The Chinese Nanping (Men’s Team) is currently in Xiamen for restorative fitness training. The fitness and coaching staff are currently monitoring and adjusting the condition of their players to its optimum capacity.

During the training, Liu Guoliang wasn’t satisfied with how Zhang Jike played for doubles with Wang Hao and he blandly expresses his dismay in front of him. Liu Guoliang has been very strict when it comes to training. However, Liu Guoliang, admits that he is very optimistic with Zhang Jike – so optimistic that his stare is always fixed on the player. Liu Guoliang also thinks that Zhang Jike would be Guoping’s (National Team’s) X factor in the upcoming WTTC.

Liu Guoliang also said: “Ma Lin got the Olympics champion after his debut, while Wang Hao and Wang Liqin both got their achievements after several years of sharpening. We should give some space for Zhang Jike to grow.” This only supports Liu Guoliang’s optimism for Zhang Jike this year.

Liu Guoliang said, “Zhang Jike now has the abilities for the WTTC, but he still lacks that ‘thickness.’ And that makes it hard for anyone to predict if he could still deliver a superb performance in some critical matches. Although he withstood the challenge last year in Moscow, it still wasn’t enough. It’s really hard to predict up to what extent he can deliver in the critical points of the competition.”

On the other hand, a CCTV reporter broke some news that if Zhang Jike will reach the finals in the upcoming WTTC in Rotterdam, he will also be considered for the London Olympics. She said: “Zhang Jike has a surprising external source of strength. And with this, Liu Guoliang called Zhang Jike a ‘Tibetan Mastiff.’”

Zhang Jike also knows how important the WTTC for him, he said: “I am more worried for the second and third round of the competition where my opponent is most likely not my teammate. My experience competing against foreign players is also relatively small. I guess this is the part that I should really focus.”

Liu Guoliang left a few words about Zhang Jike which left a deep meaning: “I don’t expect Zhang Jike to win the singles championships in the WTTC but Zhang Jike’s performance in the WTTC will surely give himself a more accurate position within the team.”

Tabletennistas, what do you think Liu Guoliang means about the accurate position in the team? What are your thoughts about the speeding career of Zhang Jike?

Photo source: flickr.com/photos/ittfworld/5398414307/

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The longest rally ever lasted 2 hours and 12 minutes. It was played in the 1936 WTTC

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