The Chinese Olympic Team is currently in Leeds after they departed last Tuesday. During the send off, Liu Guoliang had a lot of interviews and one of them was his interview talking about the Singles players Wang Hao and Zhang Jike.
The Chinese Team will first spend a few days in Leeds for their adaptive training before finally entering into the Olympic Village. "I hope that our final preparations in Leeds will be very satisfactory. The most important thing is our players' mental condition since we have a lot of young players and this is their first Olympic experience. Because of that, they might have a different feeling in Leeds and even more in London. After settling in the Olympic village, I believe that there will be some adjustments in their mental condition." Liu Guoliang said.
Zhang Jike and Wang Hao will compete in the Olympic Men Singles. The result of this competition is the most anticipated in the Olympic Table Tennis. In Liu Guoliang's previous interviews, the head coach seemed to be very careful on his answers about this topic. However, before the Team departed for London, Liu Guoliang shared more.
"I think their winning probabilities are almost similar with each player having their own advantages and disadvantages." Liu Guoliang started.
After the final warm-up match in Chengdu, Liu Guoliang has expressed his disappointment towards Zhang Jike. Zhang Jike was a bit shaky against choppers and faced defeat in the Doubles with Ma Long. However, last Tuesday, Liu Guoliang didn't have any trace of worry on Zhang Jike. He even believes that the reigning world champion has the momentum after his recent major achievements.
"This will be the first Olympic experience for Zhang Jike. Last year, Zhang Jike earned the world championships. In terms of confidence, capacity and impact, Zhang Jike is stronger." Liu Guoliang explained.
On the other hand, Liu Guoliang also praised his other disciple, saying that just reaching the finals is already a big achievement. "Wang Hao, on the other hand, has two Olympic experiences. Although he wasn't able to win the title, he still reached the finals twice. This is already a very impressive achievement. I hope Wang Hao can re-enter the finals in London and create a miracle. Because, after all, in a big competition like the Olympics getting qualified is already hard, how much more reaching the finals." Liu Guoliang added.
In his previous interview, Liu Guoliang also said that he wouldn't dare to expect for both Wang Hao and Zhang Jike to be in the finals. However, during the departure from Beijing, Liu Guoliang had more courage to express his hopes: "I hope that our two players will be able to defeat every opponent in their way to keep their own lines and finally be in the finals." Liu Guoliang shared.
"In our Closed Training, including the time we returned to Beijing, we have done a lot of work and had a lot of communication as well. At this point, we want to create a more relaxed environment that will enable athletes to let go of unnecessary thoughts, lay their burdens, and release their true level." Liu Guoliang concluded.
Zhang Jike and Wang Hao
Photo source: pingpang.info