The Chinese Team's final warm-up match ended succesfully yesterday in Chengdu. After the Team finals, head coach Liu Guoliang graced an interview from the Chinese media.
"I think the strength of our three Olympic delegates is remarkable. Each of them are actually qualified to play in both Singles and Doubles." Liu Guoliang started.
"The warm-up match was a form of training for the actual competition, forcing them to find the right momentum. Overall, it was a good learning experience. It was the last warm-up competition before the Olympics and our players need to be under pressure so as to let them feel the intense atmosphere and for us to see whether they will be able to withstand it. The effect of the warm-up match was actually very good." Liu Guoliang explained.
The change in the positioning of Zhang Jike, Wang Hao and Ma Long in the Team event compared to the previous one in Xiamen was noticeable. Each one of them was able to play in both the Singles and the Doubles. With this, Liu Guoliang admitted that it was his requirement for the players.
"I have repeatedly stressed out to everyone that they should be able to prepare for both Doubles and Singles. We targeted it in the warm-up match. As much as possible, I let them play more than the average. They will have a different opponent in London and they must be prepared for different responses as well." Liu Guoliang added.
More than the flexibility of his players, Liu Guoliang also wanted to achieve the right momentum for them.
"We actually achieved the expected results from the warm-up match. Our Olympic participants were able to find the right momentum and that was actually our goal. They can not actually play 100% of their condition in the warm-up match but I saw them work very hard. Our squad is very competitive. The warm-up match was a good exercise for our players be it in their techniques or their responses. We still have several days before the Olympics. We have to cope with various difficulties and be more detailed." Liu Guoliang explained.
During the game, it was also noticeable that Liu Guoliang had a lot to discuss with Zhang Jike compared to the others. "It's not just Zhang Jike. Actually, it is the same with everyone. Our team is confident. We have two players who will be in the Olympics for the first time. They lack experience and they have to rely on the veteran. This match is going to increase their comprehensive strength, adaptability, and tolerance level." Liu Guoliang concluded.
Chinese Olympic Team (MEN)
Photo source: bbs.suning.cn