Liu Guoliang Encouraging Positive Approach To Tokyo Olympic Games

Liu Guoliang guided China to Men’s Team gold at Rio 2016 (Photo: ITTF)

President of the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA) Liu Guoliang wants to see China’s table tennis contingent remain positive in a hope it will boost the country’s performance at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Games were officially postponed on 24th March 2020 due to the global Covid-19 pandemic and have been provisionally rescheduled to take place in 2021.

With another year’s wait until the world’s finest athletes can compete for Olympic glory, Liu is encouraging China’s table tennis stars to maintain a positive mindset and communicate with each other to help keep the players as comfortable as possible as he explained in an interview with Xinhua:

“Veterans like Ma (Long) and Ding (Ning) need to work on communication and mental adjustment. A positive mentality may benefit them in recovering from injuries and maintaining good form.” – Liu Guoliang

The race for positions once again paints an interesting story for China’s table tennis setup. For the singles event the country only able to field two players for the singles events, meaning big names will miss out on the Games.

Ma Long, Xu Xin and Fan Zhendong are the big contenders for the men’s selection while the likes of Lin Gaoyuan, Liang Jingkun and Wang Chuqin are also knocking on the door. As for the women’s line-up China will have to choose between World No.1 Chen Meng, World Champion Liu Shiwen and reigning Olympic Champion Ding Ning, not to mention Zhu Yuling, Wang Manyu and Sun Yingsha!

Will Ding Ning be given the chance to defend her Olympic gold? (Photo: ITTF)

However, Liu isn’t ruling out opportunities including for the country’s younger generation, highlighting that much could still change between now and the start of the Olympic proceedings:

“For young athletes, they have seen bigger hope and potential, and a lot of changes can take place over the next year.” – Liu Guoliang

Source: Xinhua

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