Ma Long, as the Olympic third person was tasked to play in the Men Team event in London together with Zhang Jike and Wang Hao. As a team, they defeated Russia, Singapore, Germany and South Korea, and eventually hailed as the Olympic champions.
Ma Long was able to appreciate the importance of team work. Everybody just had to contribute and cooperate. If one losses a match, the other one should take the team upwards and successfully defend. Group effort is vital and an impressive example was seen from the Chinese Team during the Olympic Men Team event.
For Ma Long, the three-time Olympic silver medalist was the core of the team and for that, he has high respect for Wang Hao. "Wang Hao is a very generous older brother. As a young player, there are a lot of things to learn from his experiences." Ma Long started.
"After losing twice, a common person would not dare face the Olympics for the third time. But Wang Hao still insisted on his dreams. After the Singles, Wang Hao was able to adjust his condition. He boosted the morale of the whole team and we won." Ma Long added.
After the awarding ceremony of the Men Team event, Wang Hao was caught on camera in tears during his interview, admitting that it could be his last Olympic Games. As a teammate, Ma Long also felt some sadness.
"When I saw Wang Hao cry, I also felt some bitterness. Because of his efforts, everyone would like to see Wang Hao winning the gold. It was not easy. Wang Hao is one player worthy of our respect." Ma Long said.
Just like coach Wu Jingping and Liu Guoliang, Ma Long also doesn't disagree that the London Olympics could be his last. However, he certainly believes that Wang Hao will still stay with the team as the Chinese Team still needs him.
"It maybe his last but Wang Hao will not yet retire. He will still continue giving us some valuable experience. Wang Hao has also said that he will look unto us, younger athletes. So, me, Xu Xin, and Zhang Jike will be able to assume the responsibility of the Chinese Team. The Chinese Team still needs him. I still need him." Ma Long admitted.
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Chinese Men Team in 2012 Olympics
Photo source: Feng Li / Getty Images Europe