CHINA

Liu Guoliang: We Are Not Cruel

Liu Guoliang: We Are Not Cruel
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The Chinese Team decided Ma Long and Zhang Jike to play in the Olympic Singles while Xu Xin will be their third person. They also selected Fan Zhendong to be their substitute. This lineup had their fans react and Liu Guoliang defended their decision. For him, it is not the coaching staff who is cruel but the rules of the ITTF. 

Sohu Sports. Coming up with a lineup especially for a big competition is a daunting task for the Chinese Team. Liu Guoliang reassured the fans that they have been fair in the selection. 

“Although each of the players have their own strengths, everybody still clearly knows where their strengths are.” Liu Guoliang started. 

As the head coach, Liu Guoliang had a talk with Zhang Jike, Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong before they decided on their lineup. “There were some differences as to their ideas. we rely our process of selection on the solid achievements. This is something that they have done themselves.” He said. 

Eventually, Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong were not selected for the second Singles, instead, Zhang Jike, the Grand Slam champion was chosen to play with Ma Long in the Olympic Singles. 

“I know that the fans may not be able to accept our decision. It is unfortunate for the player who will not be chosen. But definitely we are not cruel, its the rules of the ITTF that is cruel.” Liu Guoliang clarified. 

Lastly, the head coach hopes that there will be a change in the rules so as to create more opportunities for the players to achieve their dreams. 

“We hope that there will be an increase in the qualified players for the Singles in order to give players an opportunity to realise their dreams, otherwise, many athletes will not be able to step into the Olympic stage.” Liu Guoliang concluded. 

Photo source: OSports 

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