After having his first opportunities to participate in the World Championships and achieve some important victories, Wang Liqin started his own Olympic dream. Just like any athletes, he wanted to be with the rest of the world's best athletes at the same time and in the same place.
Wang Liqin has attended the Olympic Games in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. Among his three attendances in the Olympic Games, the Sydney Olympics is the most significant season for Da Li as it left a deep impression on him.
"Before the Olympics, I only wanted to play in the Singles and did not want to play in the Doubles. Actually, my results in the Doubles have been remarkable as champions in 1996 and 1998 Grand Finals. Later, as I talked with the coaches, I came to realize that I should start with the breakthrough in the Doubles." Wang Liqin said.
Indeed, Wang Liqin, together with his partner Yan Sen, went all the way into the finals and got the Olympic Men Doubles Championship title after winning against the powerful tandem of Kong Linghui and Liu Guoliang.
"Linghui and Guoliang were at the highest level in Men's Doubles at that time. They were also very experienced. However, they had a lot of pressure as well. As for us, we did not have much burden instead we have much to gain." Wang Liqin added.
After completing the task, Wang Liqin was in a daze. He was like in a dream. He did not know that such achievement was just the start of more recognitions to his career.
In the world championships in Osaka 2001 and Paris 2003, the powerful tandem of Wang Liqin and Yan Sen was still having a great momentum. Their partnership was dubbed as the "golden duo." However in November of 2003, Yan Sen suffered an arm injury. This eventually led to the death of the partnership in the Athens Olympics.
Now that Wang Liqin is slowly leaving the limelight, it's just the proper time to recall his accomplishments. Despite feeling insignificant among the Chinese Team in Sydney, Wang Liqin showed the world what he would be able to do in the future. Indeed, Wang Liqin is not only considered one of the best players in table tennis through his achievements but also through his character.
As of now, let's take a look on how Wang Liqin and Yan Sen used to play during those times. Here is a video of the 2001 China Open where Wang and Yan defeated Ma Lin and Liu Guozheng.
Wang Liqin / Yan Sen vs Ma Lin / Liu Guozheng
video kindly shared by TTPoster
Photo source: ittf.com