Before the Rotterdam championships, Ma Long fell off from the world's top spot. He was actually ranked fifth at that time, putting in danger his eventual qualification for the Olympic Singles. However, this did not make Ma Long worried.
"Although I am ranked fifth in the world, I still thought that the attention of the media towards me is less of my concern. I also thought that it was not a bad thing for me. To a certain extent, I was able to take off some burden." Ma Long said.
Regrettably, Ma Long once again failed in the Men Singles world championships. Moreover, in the Moscow championships, Ma Long was not able to withstand the pressure and lost by 2-3 against the German Timo Boll. Everyone felt sorry for him. Again and again in the World Championships, Ma Long has continuously suffered a crisis on his confidence.
"I think it's quite regrettable. I also want to think what will happen if I won that game. Ma Lin and coach Liu also experienced their respective losses in team competitions but they both surpassed their losses. On that note, I also should adhere to that." Ma Long continued.
Despite not having an ideal position in the team for the London Olympics that time, Ma Long did not lose hope. He was still the focus of the coaching staff during the four-year cycle.
The coaching staff, led by Liu Guoliang, didn't give up on the cultivation of Ma Long as well. "We can actually pay for the losses of Ma Long in world competitions. However it would be impossible for us to change his whole personality. As the coaching staff has already devoted so much on him, we will not easily give up on Ma Long and my confidence on him is still full." Liu Guoliang said.
"If Ma Long will be able to have a breakthrough in the World Championships, it will give us a reason to believe in him for the London Olympics. Conversely, if he will be unable to obtain a breakthrough, then he may can't get enough trust from the coaching staff for the London Olympics." Liu Guoliang once said.
Indeed, Ma Long ultimately earned his qualification for the London Olympcis despite a poor performance in Rotterdam. It was a rough road but he surpassed it. If Ma Long could have been the champion in Rotterdam, could he be now in the Olympic Singles lineup?
Here is the video of Ma Long's defeat against Wang Hao in the 2011 WTTC Men Singles semifinals.
Ma Long vs Wang Hao 2011 WTTC
video kindly shared by ttCountenance
Photo source: sports.sina.com.cn