Liu Guoliang On Zhang Jike, Ma Long And Wang Hao

Liu Guoliang on Zhang Jike, Ma Long and Wang Hao
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The 35-day closed training of the Chinese Men Team in Shenzhen is in preparation for the upcoming big competitions this year - the World Team Championships in Dortmund and the 2012 London Olympics. Among the Fab Five, it was only Ma Long who was able to train completely last week since Wang Hao, Xu Xin and Ma Lin participated in the recently concluded Qatar Open while Zhang Jike was suffering from high fever. In line with this, Liu Guoliang gave details as to the advantages and disadvantages of Zhang Jike, Ma Long and Wang Hao. 

For this Olympic year, there is no doubt that the focus of the National Team is who would be the three delegates to be sent for the London Olympics.  In the Men Singles, the first players to be reported are Wang Hao and Zhang Jike in virtue of the world rankings. In addition, the player who has been ruling the men scene since last year, Ma Long has the advantages for the third person.

"Zhang Jike had the best performance last year and has greatly improved in his technical skills year after year." However Liu Guoliang has pointed out that his disadvantage would be the relatively shorter time as a main force in the team. His strong personality can easily get out of control. His explosive force can also cause injuries as well.

In contrast, Wang Hao has rich experience already. In several seasons of the World Championships and the Olympics, Wang Hao has demonstrated a relatively stable performance. The only regret is his two-time Olympic Singles finals defeat. His requirements upon himself is not as good as Ma Long. Lastly, his weight reaching to 84 kilograms had made negative implications to his performances.

At the same time, Liu Guoliang also admitted that Ma Long's current condition is better than Wang Hao. "His current technical skills is the most comprehensive. He has a very strict requirements upon himself. He trains hard and he is the most behaved athlete." Ma Long is the hardest player in the whole team with technical offensive and defensive skills are more comprehensive than Wang Hao. However, his lack of competitive experience would also be his disadvantage. He did not have any Olympic experience and lost in the World Championships.

"It is undeniable that he is the most talented. If Ma Long had a breakthrough in big competitions, he could have been shortlisted. Once he can pierce through this certain layer, Ma Long can be the best athlete." Liu Guoliang said.

Liu Guoliang said that the Feb Five still have the hopes to participate in the London Olympics. The coaching staff will carefully have a comprehensive appraisal of the players. The World Team Championships will be a main factor before we will make our final decision in May.

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Table Tennis was banned in the USSR from ca 1930 to 1950 because it was believed to be harmful to the eyes

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