Ningbo Evening News. The latest round of the men's Super League took place last Wednesday with Ma Lin and his Jiangsu Team being swept by Ningbo. Instead of feeling depressed, Ma Lin felt honoured just to be standing in the arena.
At age 30, many people would think that this age would be their prime. However, for some, especially for Chinese athletes, this age marks the end of their athletic career.
Earlier this month, Ma Lin participated in the 2013 Chinese National Games. In the competition, Ma Lin participated in the Men's Team, Mixed Doubles, Men's Doubles and the Singles. In all those events, Ma Lin wasn't able to reach the finals. He was eliminated in the third round of the Singles.
At age 33, Ma Lin's fifth participation in the National Games was also his last. Although his performance was not so perfect, Ma Lin said that he doesn't have any regrets especially that he has already won the National Games Singles in year 2001.
Last Wednesday, September 25, Jiangsu faced the top ranking team Ningbo. For the first match, Ma Lin was confronted with the 20-year old Yan An. Ma Lin started well with a commanding 11-2. However, he was not able to maintain the momentum as the match progressed. At the end, Ma Lin was defeated in 1-3.
After losing against Yan An in the latest round of the Super League, Ma Lin was seen just in the sidelines watching his teammates. According to the arrangement, Ma Lin had to return into the arena for the fourth match against Ma Long. However, Ma Lin did not get to return into the arena as Jiangsu was swept in 0-3.
At the end of the game, rather than looking sad and frustrated, Ma Lin was smiling in front of the crowd. As of this time, standing in the arena of the Super League is already an honour for Ma Lin. "Actually, some of the players my age have already retired." Ma Lin said. This only shows that not all players are privileged to have the opportunity to play in the Super League.
Photo source: CFP