The Round 16 of the Olympic Men Singles yesterday had too much to talk about as the Olympic pressure presented itself to some of the players. Aside from the unexpected victory of Adrian Crisan over Timo Boll, Michael Maze also made it to the list after ousting the third seed Jun Mizutani.
As the 13th seed, Michael Maze had his debut in the London Olympics yesterday in the Round 32 where he met Kalinikos Kreanga of Greece. Days before his opening round, Michael Maze was actually worried about their encounter as he has lost in previous matches. However, he said that he will try to beat him in London. Indeed, Maze kept his word and advanced with a 4-1 win.
In Round 16, Michael Maze faced a much harder opponent as his match was against the third seed Japanese leader Jun Mizutani. Surprisingly, their rankings did not set the tone of the match. The Danish representative had good control over the table, giving not much chances for Mizutani. More surprisingly, Mizutani was crushed by Michael Maze in four sets.
"I am very happy with my performance today. I am very pleased that my mind and body are in good condition. I am even surprised with my own condition. It now appears that my chances in the London Olympics are really good." Michael Maze said after the match.
After winning the previous round, the Danish star will meet the German Dimitrij Ovtcharov. "We have played against each other in the Russian Club. I lost to him twice but I also won once. I think it would be a very open game." Maze added.
During training, Maze once said that the gold medal may be taken away by a non-Chinese. When he was asked again, Maze said: "I already have that feeling since the start. Because there are only two Chinese athletes in the competition, it will really be hard for them. They have almost nothing to win and we have nothing to lose."
"My right knee has undergone two major operations. Those two years were really tough. However fortunately, I am now back!" Maze concluded. Could Michael Maze's comeback be a threat to the Chinese domination in the Men Singles?
Michael Maze in the 2012 London Olympics
Photo source: Getty Images Europe / AP