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Chen Chen
08-18-2016, 04:23 PM
There are reports circulating around the Chinese media and in particular one in which Zhang Jike said in an chat room (Chinese Media qq Sports quote) with fans after the Rio Olympic team event that he will retire when the team land in Beijing after Rio! Online users in China are talking about it here as reported by qqsports.com: https://view.inews.qq.com/a/BCP2016081804976005?

Zhang Jike has had on going injuries with his shoulder and particularly his back at the Rio Olympics. At just 28 years of age is this to young to retire? It has been a pleasure watching Zhang Jike over the last 10 years, my favorite player of all time!

https://www.tabletennisdaily.co.uk/forum/images/zhangjikeretire2016.jpg

Some of Zhang Jike's best moments:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPLb5I2x0kI

What do you think about Zhang Jike retiring? To soon for us?

Sali
08-18-2016, 04:43 PM
I am not a fan of him, although I admire his skills. Anyway since 2 years he is very inconsistent. It can be caused by injuries or his attitude. The competition among younger players if very high. So it will be very difficult for him to compete in high level especially that he is very good only when he is fast close to the table. That demands very good body shape which can be devastating for his back.

UpSideDownCarl
08-18-2016, 04:51 PM
I think it is the right time to retire. I kind of thought he might do that. I think that is where he is: based on his shoulder and back injuries which keep flaring up. Great player. But I think he has been fading since 2012. Which is sort of sad based on his age.


Sent from Deep Space by Abacus

rokphish
08-18-2016, 04:56 PM
i will miss timo a whole lot more than zjk...

Lolman
08-18-2016, 04:58 PM
He was great, but it's the right time for him to retire

NextLevel
08-18-2016, 05:01 PM
LGL has retired already as as LXX I hear. It will be interesting to see whether and when Ma Long will retire too as I think no one wants to be a victim of the FZD train.

Dan
08-18-2016, 05:05 PM
LGL has retired already as as LXX I hear. It will be interesting to see whether and when Ma Long will retire too as I think no one wants to be a victim of the FZD train.

Ma Longs journey has just begun NL! :)

Tony's Table Tennis
08-18-2016, 05:06 PM
With Olympic cycle and from what I saw since 2000
ZJK is for sure to retire, as he will not be in 2020 plans for sure.
Ma Long may stay be in there as the "experience" player - and in fact, this is the only reason why ZJK played, as he was the only experience olympic player in the line up.
So it is XX vs FZD in my view

LXX is gone already, DN will likely stay too, LSW may miss out again as there is ZYL that is progressing very well

What this space (in 4 years time) :)

NextLevel
08-18-2016, 05:15 PM
Ma Longs journey has just begun NL! :)

He's about 27/28. Your journey in China is almost ending at that age!

Tony's Table Tennis
08-18-2016, 05:18 PM
He's about 27/28. Your journey in China is almost ending at that age!

HAHA
Sad, but that is the truth
30 is pretty an oldie

TT4Life
08-18-2016, 05:39 PM
Only time will tell for Ma Long, as long as he can keep it up , physically and mentally and high level as he is now . No one can replace him :)

ttmonster
08-18-2016, 05:49 PM
Ma Long will be defeated by FZD in the next olympic final and then he will retire .. unlucky Xu Xin , he missed the train by losing to JM in the finals yesterday ... :p ..now lets start the party

TT4Life
08-18-2016, 05:52 PM
well that maybe the case , FZD could be the only male player that going to win 2 single medals at the Olympic :) for his age. Or could it be Ma Long ? lolz ahahhah :)

Cypher
08-18-2016, 05:57 PM
He's about 27/28. Your journey in China is almost ending at that age!


Sorry but did you guys miss the Olympics?? Ma Long was soooo good that his matches were almost boring and kinda hard to watch. Can't even imagine being a world class player ranked above the top 20 and getting my ass whooped so hard.

Sorry for the intense sarcasm but Ma Long seems to be far and away the best player of this decade and possibly in contention with J.O. for G.O.A.T. He took the Olympics by storm and no one could touch him.

Look at the rest of his wins throughout the year and 2015. Apparently no one else has won and held all the events that he is currently holding AT THE SAME TIME. WTTC, World Cup, ITTF World Series, Olympics, ect.

"From June 2009 until present Ma Long has ranked as #1 or #2 in the world for 76 of 86 months, making him the most dominant and consistent player on the ITTF World Tour during this time period." He has held the #1 spot long enough that only Wang Liqin has more months holding it consecutively than him and judging by all his recent performances, that 'title' is up for contention.

Ma Long has shown no signs of slowing down so it's absolutely unreasonable to think he will just retire. Almost as illogical as that one post about the match fixing for rio. Like it literally had no evidence supporting it but for some reason still sparked a debate. Until Ma Long begins to falter, only then will I begin to believe Ma Longs era of dominance is over

Archosaurus
08-18-2016, 06:06 PM
I think it's high time he has a break. It seems hard on him with the injuries.

ttmonster
08-18-2016, 06:27 PM
On a different not, knowing LGL , I think he will negotiate a deal with ZJK. He will let ZJK take a prolonged break and then let him try to make a comeback atleast for a couple of years. I think they hit the sweet spot in terms of transition with way things were handed over from WLQ and Ma Lin to the next generation.

Lets say FZD is the next Ma Long . Where is the next ZJK and Xu Xin ... I know the real Xu Xin is around we have to admit he is almost about to miss the bus unless he turns things around in the next year and beats Ma Long in a couple of Major finals, infact I had high hopes for Xu Xin seeing how he unleashed his backhand in Japan open . But his performance against Jun was a damp squib ...

... and I don't think ZJK can make this decision ... he will make his case saying that I have put my blood and sweat out there for the country , let me go , but how can we be sure that LGL and Cai will agree ... did any of you see them watching the Badminton Semis ... they are two in a pod ...

Chen Chen
08-18-2016, 06:48 PM
Will be a loss for the whole table tennis world, if Zhangjike retires. Even he is not that old, the back injury destroies him:(

He is the Chinese version of Maze, we need some personality in this sport :)

We will see what he is going to do after go back to China after Rio, What does the whole China team need from him?

The Pong Professor
08-18-2016, 07:20 PM
It has been frustrating to watch ZJK in the past two years. No motivation and hindered by injuries. He should have stopped two years ago. His legacy would have been stronger then. Now it is tarnished because he was rolled over by ML (and to some degree FZD and XX, who should have been selected over him for Rio).

ML is so dominant...he will stay until after Tokyo. It will be interesting to see who will be phased in as the 4th player. Yan An? Fang Bo? A third one? I hope Fang Bo gets the "promotion".

ping fun
08-18-2016, 07:32 PM
Hearing this news really made me sad . He's just 28 . I m he's BIG fAN and I REALLY WANT HIM TO PLAY AGAIN . all he need is resting , he had a very bad injury . I hope liu wont let him to retire , I guess LXX 's retiredment made zjk more eager for this decision ,, but its not official and just a chat . he made table tennis more beautiful ,he was soooo motivated in team competition ,,, but i guess his decision wont be accepted by xiao zhan ;cai and more important than these LIU GUOLIANG ...

redonix76
08-18-2016, 07:33 PM
Sorry but did you guys miss the Olympics?? Ma Long was soooo good that his matches were almost boring and kinda hard to watch. Can't even imagine being a world class player ranked above the top 20 and getting my ass whooped so hard.

Sorry for the intense sarcasm but Ma Long seems to be far and away the best player of this decade and possibly in contention with J.O. for G.O.A.T. He took the Olympics by storm and no one could touch him.

Look at the rest of his wins throughout the year and 2015. Apparently no one else has won and held all the events that he is currently holding AT THE SAME TIME. WTTC, World Cup, ITTF World Series, Olympics, ect.

"From June 2009 until present Ma Long has ranked as #1 or #2 in the world for 76 of 86 months, making him the most dominant and consistent player on the ITTF World Tour during this time period." He has held the #1 spot long enough that only Wang Liqin has more months holding it consecutively than him and judging by all his recent performances, that 'title' is up for contention.

Ma Long has shown no signs of slowing down so it's absolutely unreasonable to think he will just retire. Almost as illogical as that one post about the match fixing for rio. Like it literally had no evidence supporting it but for some reason still sparked a debate. Until Ma Long begins to falter, only then will I begin to believe Ma Longs era of dominance is over

100% agree...ZJK has passed his prime, but ML is at the top of his prime. FZD still up and coming but there isn't anyone else on the CNT that has FZD's potential. ML won't retire until he's no longer viable to the team.

ping fun
08-18-2016, 08:37 PM
Liu guoliang loves zhang jike . he wont let him go :p

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Zhang jike after final:o

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Mofluk
08-18-2016, 09:07 PM
I hope this isn't true. I love watching him play!

anchorschmidt
08-18-2016, 10:03 PM
I think he will retire after the WTTC in 2017.

Siva Schopenhauer
08-18-2016, 11:09 PM
For me with this, table tennis comes to halt. ZJK is one dynamic and charismatic personality who instilled the spirit of ping pong into innumerable fans all throughout the world. Table tennis wouldn't be the same after he departs.

I am still skeptical that he would make a come back after an year if he recovers from his back and shoulder injury after rehab. Probably Tokyo would be the ideal time if he does that. Keeping the hopes up and saying bye to a great legend :(

Siva Schopenhauer
08-18-2016, 11:12 PM
Liu guoliang loves zhang jike . he wont let him go :p

10667
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Zhang jike after final:o

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I think they have a father - Son relationship like Cai - LGL. These always makes me happy just to see that compassion thrives beyond all the artifical barriers created by us.

steffi
08-19-2016, 12:44 AM
I'm more depressed about Li X.X. retiring. She was everything that embodies the Chinese team. I really hope she remains in the sport in some capacity. I don't see how she can sell cakes for the rest of her life.

pong4lyfe
08-19-2016, 01:31 AM
LGL probably thinks of ZJK as his troubled-son :) Loves him so much, but so much frustration whenever ZJK has those hard times. Will be really sad if ZJK does retire though. Hopefully he can hang on for a few more world tours.

suds79
08-19-2016, 05:06 AM
Okay who you got as the mens gold medal winner in Tokoyo in 2020?

FZD or the field? I'm taking FZD.

Herbert
08-19-2016, 09:32 AM
I think Fan Zhendong is the next Zhang Jike and Fang Bo is the next Ma long in terms of playing style. Further, Fan is more ready to replace Zhang Jike (and he needs to seeing Zhang Jike's performance and physical state) in the coming years. I think Fang Bo was expected to follow up Ma Long but he might not be needed, and ready for it yet

I am also wondering what the next CNT will look like after xx, ml and zj have retired. The only one who can compete with them now is Fan Zhendong

bzing
08-19-2016, 10:54 AM
Next 2017 WTTC will be won either by Ma Long or Fan Zhendong. I think they might meet each other in the final.

TurboZ
08-19-2016, 12:18 PM
In an interview after Team Competition, LGL told us that he had asked ZJK several times about his back condition and ZJK said no problem. But ZJK disclosed that he was actually pretty hurt after semi but he did not want to be replaced by FZD so he kept his cool. :cool:

ZJK said that after XX loss to Jun, he accompanied XX to washroom and encourage him like WH did back in London where he himself had loss in a similar fashion. What a team of brothers yet they have to beat each other for the glory. They all have my respect.

LGL said that ML is the leader of the team but ZJK is the soul. These three represent an era not to be repeated. So sad to see ZJK leave and wish him all the best. :)

pingpongdingdong
08-19-2016, 12:59 PM
I think it is about time for Zhang Jike to leave. His injuries are too much for him to handle, and his performance has been dropping. He should be satisfied with a silver medal in his last olympic games, getting amazingly close to a double grand slam. He can retire with Liu Guoliang. They can leave together and be happy.

Ma Long will keep playing for a while I believe. I'm not too sure if he will win the world championships next year though, and I think getting gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is too much to ask for. He does have a lot of dominance now though, so I don't see a reason for him to quit, unless he wants to leave along side Zhang Jike and Liu Guoliang. But I don't think his time to leave is here, and he's only just begun.

Fan Zhendong will obviously dominate the next generation and his fully-fledged dominance will start in a year or two.

I'm not so sure about Xu Xin, and I honestly feel sorry for him. No world championship title, no olympic gold, just one lousy Bronze medal. Not to belittle his achievements, but you can see he has totally under-achieved compared to Zhang Jike and Ma Long. Not out of effort, but because of opportunity. Maybe he will stay and see if he can try and win something, but Ma Long and Fan Zhendong are going to beat him. With Liu Guoliang and Zhang Jike gone, he might also just realise that his efforts are futile and that it's his time to go. It depends on his feelings and his motivation.

Honestly not so sure about the next coaches or Chinese trio. We basically just have Fan Zhendong at this point.

Siva Schopenhauer
08-19-2016, 01:07 PM
ZJK disclosed that he was actually pretty hurt after semi but he did not want to be replaced by FZD so he kept his cool.

As a fan, I have been saying this from the exact point from which it happened. There is no way Ma long gets to dominate ZJK like that on an international scene. It happened once in Qatar open for similar reasons.

Ma long is better but in reality it would not have been such an easy run for gold that now ZJK haters just used that exact opportunity to down play his ability and started character assasination :(

suds79
08-19-2016, 02:21 PM
Honestly not so sure about the next coaches or Chinese trio. We basically just have Fan Zhendong at this point.

"Don't worry Fan. I'll challenge you." Sincerely, Harimoto Tomokazu

:eek: :p

ade14212
08-20-2016, 07:02 AM
As a fan, I have been saying this from the exact point from which it happened. There is no way Ma long gets to dominate ZJK like that on an international scene. It happened once in Qatar open for similar reasons.

Ma long is better but in reality it would not have been such an easy run for gold that now ZJK haters just used that exact opportunity to down play his ability and started character assasination :(

I didn't know that player can change in singles competition. Pretty sure he was referring to his nasty slip against JYS.

That being said, if Boll can get injection why cannot ZJK in the final?

Being ZJK's opponent sure is terrible. If you won, it's either because he wasn't motivated or injured. If you lose, ZJK was incredible in tight situation. Poor JYS, guess nobody truly sees your ability

Tony's Table Tennis
08-20-2016, 07:43 AM
Fans will always have an excuse.
A true champion (of any sport) in today's world is not just skills and technique, but also including body and mind.
If ZJK's body doesn't make the cut, then he is not a complete true champion.

Imagine a fan of JO Waldner saying, "if" Waldner wasn't injured, he would have played till 40.
That to me would be an excuse too.
The truth was, he played till 40 and still was a great player, he overcame body, so that to me is a champion

Now blaming body for not being a champion, then with the same mindset of this Fan, I can also say, Ma Long also injured himself before the last Olympic - thus not making it, thus giving a chance for ZJK to win.
another "if" ML has played, ZJK has a huge chance of not being champion.
Another body issue changing the results.
But simply Ma Long wasn't complete to make the last Olympic.

Now, you can have a 20 year old super star, but got injured - he will not be known as a champion, but the super star that didn't made the cut.
ZJK to me, didn't make the cut in the final.

You need to be complete to desire gold.
Ma Long was complete, and Fans of ZJK should except it
If his body isn't good enough with it, then that is sports for you.

TTFrenzy
08-20-2016, 01:45 PM
Fans will always have an excuse.
A true champion (of any sport) in today's world is not just skills and technique, but also including body and mind.
If ZJK's body doesn't make the cut, then he is not a complete true champion.

Imagine a fan of JO Waldner saying, "if" Waldner wasn't injured, he would have played till 40.
That to me would be an excuse too.
The truth was, he played till 40 and still was a great player, he overcame body, so that to me is a champion

Now blaming body for not being a champion, then with the same mindset of this Fan, I can also say, Ma Long also injured himself before the last Olympic - thus not making it, thus giving a chance for ZJK to win.
another "if" ML has played, ZJK has a huge chance of not being champion.
Another body issue changing the results.
But simply Ma Long wasn't complete to make the last Olympic.

Now, you can have a 20 year old super star, but got injured - he will not be known as a champion, but the super star that didn't made the cut.
ZJK to me, didn't make the cut in the final.

You need to be complete to desire gold.
Ma Long was complete, and Fans of ZJK should except it
If his body isn't good enough with it, then that is sports for you.

? liked the philosophy about body and mind tony.

I think they are connected and affect each other. I believe its mostly ZJK's character and hunger for success that has gradually being falling since 2013. He was doubted after wttc 2011 as a firework, and then completed a grand slam. He started to beath ML convincingly in many internal important competitions (trials etc) and even in the super league where he was losing like 10-1 and clinching the super league title.

He was doubted again after losses to takakiwa and chen chien an and many believed that xu xin will crush him in the semifinal (I think XXvs ZJK in pro tours that year was something like 4-0) but we all saw what happened. Even XX said he is clearly better, he was just too explosive for me to handle today.

He proved himself again in 2014 beating ma long both in the trials and in the world cup.

I was about to buy tickets for suzhou in 2015 because my brother lives and works there but I changed my mind and I was happy i didnt go because even watching him from the internet was not the same. Only he knows if the injury against mizutani has affected his mindset (and in general not only that particualar match) but he was just not himself vs fang bo and from then on

He seems tired and trying to steal the matches in 2015-16 without having patience and fighting spirit. Same story vs ma long final he tried to steal the match, no patience no spirit at all plus a devastating Ma Long on the other side of the table and I dont know if I watched ghosts but his body language was very different on the final. Similar to many pro tour matches where he simply played on autopilot

I think his phrase on FB says it all "so far it was for china, in the final I will play for myself" . His plan of stealing the match didnt go as planned, I even said it before the match that I wouldnt be surprised if he loses 4-0 and I still think that even if he won the first two sets against ML, ML was so hungry/focused/patient and most of all with a clear mind adapting to the serve/receive jedi mind tricks of ZJK who likes to win points easily on ML's weaknesses, that ML would won no matter what ZJK did.

Anyway it would be good to see him reignite but I highly doubt he will be even near to the ZJK we knew, if the CNT doesnt let him have a break from TT and recuperate. Wang hao has experienced a similar situation, his fighting spirit was totally broken before 2009 wttc and LGL let him have 1 week break which is ridiculous in the history of CNT. His goals in yokohama was to win the 1st round only, and he ended up crushing everyone. Maybe something similar needs to be done but if his injury is simply impossible to reverse, then its all over . Yet I still enjoyed his crushing 5th set against youngsik, he teached that boy a lesson :P

He paid his debts to LGL and CNT so there is nothing to prove anymore. Besides maybe it will be refreshing to see XX FZD fang bo to shine against ML instead

TTFrenzy
08-20-2016, 01:55 PM
I didn't know that player can change in singles competition. Pretty sure he was referring to his nasty slip against JYS.

That being said, if Boll can get injection why cannot ZJK in the final?

Being ZJK's opponent sure is terrible. If you won, it's either because he wasn't motivated or injured. If you lose, ZJK was incredible in tight situation. Poor JYS, guess nobody truly sees your ability

JYS played his heart out no doubt, JM also , it was great to see them perform like that. ZJK was injecting cortizone since 2012, in the olympic final he was not 100 %. It is waht tony said about body and mind, beating ma long two times in 2014 (again with injections) with an injury is more than proof that he is worthy, but lets be realistic after a certain point ZJK biased fans should stop making excuses about injuries, if he cant play at his best then it is totally fine he proved himself more than once

He simply does not (or cannot?) move like before . Would love to see him again playing, i dont even care about the pro tours as long as he can play 100 % in important matches, but I doubt that unless some big change occurs both body and mind. Anyway i still ahve hope cause he is my favourite player, but I prefer to see the other 3 top guns shine against ma long instead of watching a tired & bored ZJK playing just to pay his debts. He did that more than once, so lets see how the CNT and himself handle the situation

TurboZ
08-20-2016, 07:44 PM
LGL told us in a TV interview that he did not think ZJK can make it and actually expect him to have an early exit since his form was very bad before OG. ZJK did not get proper training because of interruption of injury and fear of making it worst while ML had all the systematic training according to plan. LGL and ZJK himself knew it best and after first game with ML he pretty much gave up trying and save himself for Team and avoid over stressing his body.

From the ITTF video before the game, when every player said ML is the winner, ZJK hesitate and said "Sorry...I don't know". That is enough said about his confidence. I don't think ZJK had ever expected to beat ML in his situation for real. Double Grand Slam is pretty much a wishful thinking by media propaganda and fans, not ZJK himself I am afraid.

What surprise us all including LGL was that ZJK start off 100% with no reserve from the very first ball against CCA. He was proud to say that he had played better than London except Final. He help China won all medals possible without losing to foreigner. He had completed the mission impossible with no regret. What's done is done. No need to find any excuse for him because he really needs none. :cool:

Siva Schopenhauer
08-20-2016, 10:09 PM
I didn't know that player can change in singles competition. Pretty sure he was referring to his nasty slip against JYS.

That being said, if Boll can get injection why cannot ZJK in the final?

Being ZJK's opponent sure is terrible. If you won, it's either because he wasn't motivated or injured. If you lose, ZJK was incredible in tight situation. Poor JYS, guess nobody truly sees your ability

I am referring to the point 10-7 vs Samsonov, see for yourself what happened before drwawing conclusion. You can't solve chronic problems with injections when it is pretty much ****ed up

TTFrenzy
08-20-2016, 10:40 PM
LGL told us in a TV interview that he did not think ZJK can make it and actually expect him to have an early exit since his form was very bad before OG. ZJK did not get proper training because of interruption of injury and fear of making it worst while ML had all the systematic training according to plan. LGL and ZJK himself knew it best and after first game with ML he pretty much gave up trying and save himself for Team and avoid over stressing his body.

From the ITTF video before the game, when every player said ML is the winner, ZJK hesitate and said "Sorry...I don't know". That is enough said about his confidence. I don't think ZJK had ever expected to beat ML in his situation for real. Double Grand Slam is pretty much a wishful thinking by media propaganda and fans, not ZJK himself I am afraid.

What surprise us all including LGL was that ZJK start off 100% with no reserve from the very first ball against CCA. He was proud to say that he had played better than London except Final. He help China won all medals possible without losing to foreigner. He had completed the mission impossible with no regret. What's done is done. No need to find any excuse for him because he really needs none. :cool:

Thanks a lot for the info about the whole LGL-ZJK situation :) & very well said about the most clutch player in the history of TT :)

toptabletennis
09-01-2016, 06:26 AM
Yes, TT is a younf man/woman's game...
I think it's high time he has a break. It seems hard on him with the injuries.

toptabletennis
09-01-2016, 06:26 AM
Yes, TT is a young man/woman's game. Best to go with dignity now...

NDH
09-01-2016, 09:44 AM
I'm surprised I haven't seen it on here (or if it has been posted, I missed it), but you do realise that ZJK hasn't actually retired?

http://new.ittf.com/2016/08/29/zhang-jike-changing-heart-retirement/

TurboZ
09-01-2016, 12:45 PM
I'm surprised I haven't seen it on here (or if it has been posted, I missed it), but you do realise that ZJK hasn't actually retired?

http://new.ittf.com/2016/08/29/zhang-jike-changing-heart-retirement/


I certainly hope ZJK can make up his mind and give us something official on this. I remember reading a news article before OG that he was actually considered quitting Rio altogether just 50 days before the game because of his poor form. Later he agreed to go but thinking he had already won every title so win or loss does not matter anymore. But then he realized that if he carry this thought to Rio he may not even get pass the first round. So he made up his mind and aim to fight all his way to Final, for himself and the country. He did that and surprised many.

ZJK indicated that after seeing ML took Grand Slam in Rio, his motivation to play is re-ignited. My take of it is that before ML, ZJK is the only active Grand Slam Champion. So beating any other player does not mean that much to him. He indicated many times that when he play, his body is moving but mind is somewhere else. But now ML is the reigning Grand Slam Champion, the meaning of beating him suddenly become significant. After all ZJK has never meet and beat another Grand Slam Champion before. Whether he can do it with his current condition is questionable, his thought alone is nothing short of noble.

NextLevel
09-01-2016, 01:17 PM
I certainly hope ZJK can make up his mind and give us something official on this. I remember reading a news article before OG that he was actually considered quitting Rio altogether just 50 days before the game because of his poor form. Later he agreed to go but thinking he had already won every title so win or loss does not matter anymore. But then he realized that if he carry this thought to Rio he may not even get pass the first round. So he made up his mind and aim to fight all his way to Final, for himself and the country. He did that and surprised many.

ZJK indicated that after seeing ML took Grand Slam in Rio, his motivation to play is re-ignited. My take of it is that before ML, ZJK is the only active Grand Slam Champion. So beating any other player does not mean that much to him. He indicated many times that when he play, his body is moving but mind is somewhere else. But now ML is the reigning Grand Slam Champion, the meaning of beating him suddenly become significant. After all ZJK has never meet and beat another Grand Slam Champion before. Whether he can do it with his current condition is questionable, his thought alone is nothing short of noble.

The thing is that he can rest. He needs to realize that he has a standing place on CNT whenever he wants. He should take about 6 months to get ready and take a long term view. Skip CTTSL if necessary.

Tony's Table Tennis
09-01-2016, 09:28 PM
I certainly hope ZJK can make up his mind and give us something official on this. I remember reading a news article before OG that he was actually considered quitting Rio altogether just 50 days before the game because of his poor form. Later he agreed to go but thinking he had already won every title so win or loss does not matter anymore. But then he realized that if he carry this thought to Rio he may not even get pass the first round. So he made up his mind and aim to fight all his way to Final, for himself and the country. He did that and surprised many.

ZJK indicated that after seeing ML took Grand Slam in Rio, his motivation to play is re-ignited. My take of it is that before ML, ZJK is the only active Grand Slam Champion. So beating any other player does not mean that much to him. He indicated many times that when he play, his body is moving but mind is somewhere else. But now ML is the reigning Grand Slam Champion, the meaning of beating him suddenly become significant. After all ZJK has never meet and beat another Grand Slam Champion before. Whether he can do it with his current condition is questionable, his thought alone is nothing short of noble.

Throughout recent CNT history, the grand slam winners always find it difficult to find motivation to play.
We need to remember these guys are 28 years old now, and they have been training since 5/6 years old.
Due to CNT system, the body wears and tear more than the European players.
Competition is fierce and pressure is overwhelming - one is not allowed to loose to non Chinese players - it is a sin.

ZJK's mood to me is very up and down. I think the only thing stopping him is indeed his body.
Also, he may want to start a life other than just being 100% committed to CNT.

If ML is the only reason why ZJK will play, then I feel ZJK will start to fade away. When ZJK beat ML, then whats next for him?

And most importantly, ZJK to me is not a selfish person>
He knows very well how important an Olympic cycle is and getting the next champion ready.
He may continue to take part but move towards more of a leader/mentor than oppose to player.
Closer towards 2020 (when he is 30+) he will retire