The last international competition for the Chinese Team before the London Olympics has just concluded last weekend in Shanghai. This means that the team now enters the closed training stage.
In preparation for any big game, it has been the practice of the Chinese Team to conduct their closed training. In line with this, Ma Long was asked on how he releases the tension from the practices. "Since our closed training is intense, I usually watch movies or go out for a meal together." Ma Long said.
However, Ma Long immediiately corrected himself after noticing the slip of his tounge. "As of now, we are not allowed to eat outside so we only go out for a stroll or just listen to music." Ma Long added.
"Actually the Olympics is already very near and we don't have any international nor domestic competitions. We have already entered into the period for the closed training. Through the recent matches, I discovered some of my problems so I have to solve them in the upcoming trainings. Perhaps the main problem lies in the adjustment of my mental strength. This includes our training for the Doubles." Ma Long added.
Since the second half of last year, Ma Long posted an impressive 51-game winning streak. However, early this year, such magical record was unexpectedly ended by Zhang Jike. In line with this, a reporter asked how Ma Long felt with such loss.
"Actually I felt the right way to face defeat after my loss against Zhang Jike. There were times I felt the burden of winning consecutive matches. After the loss, I was able to let go of the burden. Actually, my performance in later competitions in the Asian and World Championships was good. If I did not lose that game, I feel I would still have that burden in those big competitions and it will be much difficult to play." Ma Long answered.
Although Ma Long has just experienced two losses against foreigners - Koki Niwa and Lee Sang Su, he still said that his mental condition has improved. However, he also acknoweldged that he also needs to improve in one aspect of his capacity.
"There were problems that came out before. Through this competition, I found that my condition has slowly restored. Xu Xin's performance in the finals today was good. So in this difficult moment, I hope that my ability to rise from these difficulties would improve." Ma Long said.
Some of the strongest non Chinese names like Timo Boll and Vladimir Samsonov did not participate in the China Open. In line with this, a reporter asked Ma Long if this woulld have an impact on him in the London Olympics.
"We have someone among the Chinese Team whose style of play is close to Boll and Samsonov. As a part of our closed training, we will be watching their videos. We have already played against them for many years so they are already familiar to us." Ma Long replied.
After such reply, a reporter followed up: "So, if you encounter them in the Olympcis, do you have the confidence to beat them?" Ma Long just smiled and said: " What do you think?"
Dear readers, what do you think? Can someone who don't have any Olympic experience and has some problems in mental stability like Ma Long has what it taked to overcome these veterans in the Olympics?
Photo source: sports.sina.com.cn