The Men Singles gold medal is the most important medal in the Olympic Games table tennis. This is also the project where players can actually achieve a breakthrough in their personal careers.
This season, Wang Hao is set for the biggest quest: to complete a Grand Slam as he plays for the Men Singles. In the previous seasons, Wang Hao's journey has been sad. Eight years ago in Athens, Wang Hao was unrivaled as he withstood the pressure against his teammate Wang Liqin. However in the finals, Wang Hao succumbed to the pressure against a foreigner. That time, it was the South Korean rookie Ryu Seung Min.
Four years ago in Beijing, the pen hold players reigned supreme in the competition. However, he was ultimately defeated by the more robust and crafty Ma Lin.
In 2007, Wang Hao got the World Cup championship title. In 2009, Wang Hao had his revenge against Ma Lin in the world championships Men Singles. Since then, Wang Hao has been waiting for a Grand Slam.
Since preparing for the London Olympics for more than a year now, Wang Hao's life was not running smoothly. In the world championships and the world cup, the Chinese Men Team's Zhang Jike has snatched the titles at the expense of Wang Hao. Even in the ITTF World Tour stations, Wang Hao was not that successful in a number of competitions. Even his weight has been repeatedly criticized. Weight loss has become one of the important task in Xiamen Closed Training.
However, the Chinese Men Team head coach Liu Guoliang is still confident with Wang Hao. "He has been unbeaten in five World Team Championships and one Olympic Team event. Regardless of performance, age, stability, ability, or experience, Wang Hao is still stronger than the other two young athletes." Liu Guoliang admitted.
Unfortunately, the London Olympics might just be his last chance to complete the Grand Slam. With this, Liu Guoliang gave a piece of advice to his disciple: "I told Wang Hao that if he wants to be the Olympic Men Singles champion, he should first reach the finals. He should be moving towards the championship step-by-step and must surpass the shadow of just being the second." Liu Guoliang added.
Basing from the records, if Wang Hao would win in London, the actual time for the completion of his Grand Slam dream actually took eight years and this would be the longest on record so far.
Two Time Olympic Silver Medalist
Photo source: sports.sina.com.cn