CHINA

Zhang Jike Admits Stronger Confidence (Video)

Zhang Jike Admits Stronger Confidence (VIDEO)
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The 2012 Olympic champion Zhang Jike really ushered the new season of the Chinese Super League with a blast. He just did not lead the Shandong Team to victory but also achieved a surprisingly remarkable individual performance after he overcame his nemesis Ma Long in five sets. In an interview after the match, Zhang Jike admitted that winning the Olympic title has given him stronger confidence. In addition, Zhang Jike also said that he hopes to restore his optimum condition through the Super League.

 

Sina Sports. The 2012 Chinese Super League started it's competition last October 17 where two interesting teams had their face off: Shandong versus Ningbo. At the end of five matches, it was the host Shandong prevailed. 

Zhang Jike was the first player for Shandong on cue and he played against his former teammate Joo Sae Hyuk of South Korea. In four sets, Zhang Jike overcame the strongest defensive player in the world and sealed the first point for Shandong.

After the match, Zhang Jike admitted that it was a hard-fought battle considering that he still hasn't fully recovered from injuries. "I suffered from injuries when I played in Zhangjiagang National Championships. The back injury was an old injury. Today, against Joo Sae Hyuk, my waist also felt a bit hurt." Zhang Jike said. 

Zhang Jike vs Joo Sae Hyuk 2012 CTTSL 1st Round
video kindly shared by janus770

Despite a wonderful starting point for Shandong in the battle, his teammates were nit able to carry out his success and led the Shandong Team in a 1-2 deficit. Therefore, the fourth match was very critical as they needed to win it to keep their hopes alive for an opening victory. 

What made it more compelling was that it was Zhang Jike against Ma Long. After witnessing these two young players battling in the arena for several years, we all know that the chances for Zhang Jike to win was slim. However, that night, Zhang Jike has achieved one of his rarest results and that is to win over his nemesis Ma Long. 

"Although I am now a Grand Slam champion, I still lose quite many matches against Ma Long. So today, I considered his mental state in the arena. Since the National Championships has just ended and he has also participated in other competitions, Ma Long's competitive state could possibly not at it's best." Zhang Jike added, pointing out to his advantage over his opponent at that time. 

In addition, Zhang Jike also told the reporters in the interview after the match that his performance in the opening round was indeed not his best. He just hopes that through the Chinese Super League, he will be able to restore his optimum condition.  

If that's the case, then what could have possibly made Zhang Jike win it? The answer of the young Grand Slam champion is "confidence." Indeed, after winning the 2012 London Olympics, Zhang Jike has felt a certain increase in confidence, giving him the potential to rise above difficult moments just like in the opening round. 

"My confidence is stronger." Zhang Jike concluded.

Photo source: sports.sohu.com

 

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The 1st WTTC was held in 1926, but China made their first appearance in 1953

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