Ma Long's loss was not because of inadequate preparation but because of too much emphasis on the event and on his opponent. Eventually the once "undefeated", lost.
"It was just simply the Olympic Qualifiers. There are several places. As long as he competes, I believe that he will have his place." Liu Guoliang started, showing the degree of confidence he has on his player.
Unfortunately, due to his obvious strengths, Ma Long was not able to handle pressure very well and showed his disorders. "The strength of Koki Niwa was not the problem in the match but it was the poor psychological condition of Ma Long. Second concern is on his technical side. He still have problems in ball handling against a left-handed person." Liu Guoliang added.
If you are thinking that Ma Long is the only person in their team having this problem, well you are wrong. According to Liu Guoliang, Olympic champions Ma Lin and Wang Nan also went through this dangerous part of the Olympics.
With this inherent risks, Liu Guoliang hopes that Ma Long has already learned his lessons. "We can not take anyone lightly. After all, Olympic is still the Olympics. The mental challenges can be in great heights. So I hope Ma Long can truly overcome himself and find solutions to his problems." Liu Guoliang explained.
Fortunately, although Ma Long stumbled, he still got qualified. That was the bottom line. At the same time, becuse of that experience, Ma Long gained a deeper understanding on how cruel the Olympics can be.
If Ma Long won against Koki Niwa, then it would be his last match and not be able to play against Achanta of India. Ma Long's first set was still very tight. After which, Ma Long showed his real self. After 6:9, Ma Long already released his strong forehands and eventually opened up.
"Eventually, Ma Long got his ticket to London. Although the process was not ideal, I still think that what happened to Ma Long has some benefits. We learned a very necessary, important and timely lesson." Liu Guoliang concluded.
Enjoy the video of Ma Long losing to Koki Niwa during the 2012 Asian Olympic Qualifier.
Ma Long vs Koki Niwa 2012 Asian Olympic Qualifier
video kindly shared by janus770
Photo source: english.peopledaily.com.cn