Ma Lin Wants To Reach The Grand Slam

Ma Lin wants to reach the Grand Slam
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Ma Lin is not living his best moment. He could not get a ticket to the WTTC through the trials, but the Chinese coaching team thought he should say present in Rotterdam and assigned him a place in the Chinese team. Thanks to this he only has one goal in his mind: completing his career's Grand Slam by winning the elusive WTTC title, which he has been in the edge to hold three times in the past...

Ma Lin will turned 31 years old this year. In the European TT world, being 31 years old is still a good age, and age were you are still maturing as a player and if you are doing ok the future looks bright and the best things are yet to come.

But in the Chinese team being 31 years old means there are a lot of younger players eager, and with enough skills, to put you out of the national team and finish your participation in the most important TT tournaments in the world, which may very well mean the end of your career as an active TT player.

Ma Lin is different. He has reached that age, an age where Liu Guoliang was already retired from active TT competitions as a player for about 6 years! and he's still of the most importance to his team. Being #4 in the world, having won four World Cup Championships and the Olympics singles and doubles gold medals only talk about all his contributions and brilliance in this sport.

Unfortunately, Ma Lin has always been unsuccessful in the WTTC. He has played the Men's singles final three times but he has missed the gold the full three times. In the 2007 WTTC, Ma Lin was doing great at the start of the match against Wang Liqin, leading by an score of 3-1 but somehow Wang Liqin managed to make a tremendous come back and stole the title from Ma Lin's hands.

But Ma Lin has one more opportunity in this year's WTTC, and he's still regarded as being of the highest value for the team. "For me, the London Olympics are still very far, and all the work I'm doing is for the WTTC in Rotterdam" Ma Lin said. His performance during the so called "devil training" imposed by Liu Guoliang was seen as satisfactory. He established himself very well inside the team and helped to overcome any division among his team mates and the coaching staff. He was absolutely focused on addressing his weak points and improving his condition to the best.

"I hope that I can achieve good results in Rotterdam. Table Tennis doesn't have any secrets nowadays and players constantly work to have something new to offer. This forces us to always be in the search for new developments on our skills and for opportunities to win" Ma Lin concluded.

So dear tabletennistas: What do you think will be the fate of Ma Lin in the next WTTC? Does he has enough power to beat younger stars as Zhang Jike or powerful Wang Hao? Will this be his last WTTC? Leave your opinion in the comments!

Photo source: ITTF official Flickr

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Wang Hao reached 3 Olympics singles final, and lost all of them

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