Sohu Sports. The 16-year old Fan Zhendong has certainly caught the attention of a lot of people after he was two points away to defeating the world's top player Ma Long in yesterday's finals. Despite defeat, Fan Zhendong is still happy with his two golds and one silver.
As the youngest member of the Chinese National Team, Fan Zhendong participated in his first ever Chinese National Games free of any burden. And that light feeling benefited him as he defeated Zhang Jike and Xu Xin before sealing his place in the finals.
Being in such a big stage, the newbie felt a little strange. "The opening set was critical. The atmosphere was a bit strange for me." He started.
Fan Zhendong lost the opening set but in the succeeding sets, the young player was incredibly good. Considering that he was against Ma Long, his fighting spirit and even his technical skills were commendable. He has successfully put threat on his opponent.
"The momentum was actually good in the sixth set. I was in a lead. However, I committed mistakes. My performance was not that detailed. I only considered myself and forgot the the opponent. The seventh set was more difficult." Fan Zhendong added.
Everyone was caught at the edge of their seats after Fan Zhendong was inching away to defeating Ma Long. It was so painfully close. However, Ma Long then made his presence felt in the game and forced a decider. At this point, Fan Zhedong paid the price for being less experienced. He lost control and the chance to become the youngest National Games Singles champion as well.
Fan Zhendong vs Ma Long 2013 Chinese National Games MS Finals
video kindly shared by janus770
Although it was defeat, Fan Zhendong was still very satisfied. He has reached the finals in three events and two of them gave him the gold. He won the Men's Team event and the Men's Doubles with Zhou Yu. Overall, he is the biggest winner in the men's division.
"This competition is a very great experience for me. In the Team event until the very last match, I fought increasingly good. It helped me in the individual events. Although I failed in the Singles despite the opportunities, I am still very satisfied with my overall performance. Generally, I played well." Fan Zhendong admitted.
With what we witnessed in his game yesterday, expectations on him will be much higher in his succeeding competitions. With this, Fan Zhendong has something to say: "Everyone has high expectations on me now. I still have a lot to learn. But this will make me to train harder and improve faster in the future."
Indeed, if he will maintain a good disposition, It will just be a matter of time for him to truly become the wonder boy of the Chinese National Team.
Photo source: SportsPhoto