Sohu Sports. Zhang Jike has already completed his Grand Slam dream but in order to keep the fire burning, there is a new goal to be achieved and it involves the next Olympic Games. With this, he thinks that Ma Long can be his greatest opponent.
While the younger players are battling in Tianjin for the 6th East Asian Games, the world champions Zhang Jike, Ma Long, Ma Lin, Wang Liqin, along with the coaches Liu Guoliang and Kong Linghui were in the Beijing University for an interactive activity with their fans. Of course, the table tennis idol is at centre stage in front of the media.
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Chinese Team In The Beijing University
Last year, Zhang Jike completed his Grand Slam title. Winning the championship titles in the three major world events, the World Championships, the World Cup and the Olympics, what else could Zhang Jike ask for?
"After getting the Grand Slam title, I actually did not want to play again." Zhang Jike admitted. "There was lack of motivation. I also though that I need to set new goals for myself. My condition before this year's World Championships was not very good. I lost a lot of games. Fortunately, I was able to have a timely adjustment and defended my world title." He added.
Could Zhang Jike still be lacking the motivation? "For the Rio Olympics, I cannot afford even the slightest relaxation." Zhang Jike said.
Speaking of the 2016 Olympics, Zhang Jike knows that the competition within the Chinese Team is already very tight. So, when he was asked who could be his strongest opponent in the Rio Olympic Games, Zhang Jike answered: "First, I need to be in the Olympic Singles lineup."
"If Ma Long gets to play in the Olympic Singles, then he would be my strongest competition. Of course, Ma Long's strongest opponent is himself." Zhang Jike added.
Zhang Jike's comment can be seen in many ways. It could be an unsolicited advise or a warning. Even if you just consider it to be a simple comment, it means a lot.
Photo source: Sohu Sports