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  1. topspin_thoughts is offline
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    #1

    Why I think Jun Mizutani, not Ma Long, was the real star of the 2016 Olympics...

    Ma Long won 2 gold medals and secured a career grand slam so it's easy to see Rio 2016 as THE MA LONG tournament.

    But I disagree. I think Jun Mizutani was the real star. In the singles event Mizutani reaches the semi-final where he faced the aforementioned Ma Long. What. A. Match. Ma goes 3-0 up only for Mizutani to fight back to 3-2. He eventually goes down 4-2 in a classic. Mizutani goes on to beat Samsonov in the 3rd/4th player to secure Japan their first men's singles medal in a long time.


    Then the team event. Japan comes up against old rivals Germany in the semi-final. Germany have edged the Japanese out in their past few encounters. But not today. Mizutani beats Timo Boll and Bastian Steger 3-0 to guarantee Japan a silver medal. In the final Mizutani goes into insane mode and takes down Xu Xin after being 10-7 down in the fifth.

    So to recap:

    1 bronze medal.
    1 silver medal.
    Beats Timo Boll, Xu Xin, Vladimir Samosonov
    Loses to Ma Long

    Wow.

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  2. Takkyu_wa_inochi is offline
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    #2
    yes I'm happy for Mizutani, he was really awesome in these Olympics.
    I was very disappointed that the Japanese doubles could not win. They had a chance in the 3rd set, and then who knows what would have happened...

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    #3
    I know! Those are the kind of opportunities you just HAVE to seize if you've any chance of beating China. Jun seems to have peaked then - I was hoping him at top form and Harimoto would pose a real challenge at Tokyo 2021 but it's hard to see Mizutani beating any of the best Chinese on current form...

    Quote Originally Posted by Takkyu_wa_inochi
    yes I'm happy for Mizutani, he was really awesome in these Olympics.
    I was very disappointed that the Japanese doubles could not win. They had a chance in the 3rd set, and then who knows what would have happened...

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    #4
    yes it would be a miracle

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    #5
    Mitzutani also had quite a match against home-court-advantage Hugo Calderano (seeded 36th). In most of the later games the Brazilian fans were hissing/whistling during Mitzutani service.

    Mitzutani won the first 2 games, losing the next 2, then winning the 5th game. The 6th game Mitzutani was down 7-10 only to win the next 5pts to avoid a 7th game.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ib7719liMk

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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Takkyu_wa_inochi
    yes I'm happy for Mizutani, he was really awesome in these Olympics.
    I was very disappointed that the Japanese doubles could not win. They had a chance in the 3rd set, and then who knows what would have happened...
    I remember watching that match, even now watching highlights is enjoyable.
    Ma Long is my favorite player of all time but the Ma Long vs Mizutani game is really special.

  7. topspin_thoughts is offline
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    #7
    I had forgotten about that match till now! What an atmosphere - although I don't like the crowd booing Mizutani before he serves

    Quote Originally Posted by best_intentions
    Mitzutani also had quite a match against home-court-advantage Hugo Calderano (seeded 36th). In most of the later games the Brazilian fans were hissing/whistling during Mitzutani service.

    Mitzutani won the first 2 games, losing the next 2, then winning the 5th game. The 6th game Mitzutani was down 7-10 only to win the next 5pts to avoid a 7th game.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ib7719liMk

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    #8
    Mizutani was commendable but a gold medal for ML is a gold medal.

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    #9
    I'm not trying to take away anything from Ma Long (who was superb), but I think Mizutani's performance gets overlooked and I guess I'm drawing attention to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear
    Mizutani was commendable but a gold medal for ML is a gold medal.

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  10. Tinykin is offline
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    #10

    Nobody remembers second place

    As in the old saying, No one remembers who came second........except that player's fans.

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  11. topspin_thoughts is offline
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    #11
    I guess I'm that fan trying to shine a light on his performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinykin
    As in the old saying, No one remembers who came second........except that player's fans.

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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by topspin_thoughts
    I'm not trying to take away anything from Ma Long (who was superb), but I think Mizutani's performance gets overlooked and I guess I'm drawing attention to that.
    To be fair, Waldner was amazing in Athens 2004 but this was an exceptional case due to his age and him beating Ma Lin and TB which made him stood out but at the end of the day RSM was equally spectacular for the gold medal win.

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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by topspin_thoughts
    I'm not trying to take away anything from Ma Long (who was superb), but I think Mizutani's performance gets overlooked and I guess I'm drawing attention to that.
    Ma Long in 2016 stood out, even the lead up to Olympics, he stood out as he was so dominant. I was more of a Zhang Jike fan and Ma Long was destroying him. This imo a period where Ma Long at his best.

    Mizutani played well and agree deserves credit for what achieved bronze in singles and silver in team with win over XX but a Gold Medal is a Gold Medal. Would of been nicer to see Mizutani play off once with Zhang Jike at the games to see who was really #2 performer.

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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by MaLin2.0
    Ma Long in 2016 stood out, even the lead up to Olympics, he stood out as he was so dominant. I was more of a Zhang Jike fan and Ma Long was destroying him. This imo a period where Ma Long at his best.

    Mizutani played well and agree deserves credit for what achieved bronze in singles and silver in team with win over XX but a Gold Medal is a Gold Medal. Would of been nicer to see Mizutani play off once with Zhang Jike at the games to see who was really #2 performer.
    It would definitely have been interesting if Mizutani played Zhang Jike in the semis instead of Ma Long. From his performances at the time, it really seemed likely that Mizutani might've won and been able to take the silver if that happened

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    #15
    Yes, would have loved to see this! On a side note, I think both Zhang and Mizutani never really reached the same level after the 2016 Olympics. Probably the last time they were both playing near their peak level.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaLin2.0
    Ma Long in 2016 stood out, even the lead up to Olympics, he stood out as he was so dominant. I was more of a Zhang Jike fan and Ma Long was destroying him. This imo a period where Ma Long at his best.

    Mizutani played well and agree deserves credit for what achieved bronze in singles and silver in team with win over XX but a Gold Medal is a Gold Medal. Would of been nicer to see Mizutani play off once with Zhang Jike at the games to see who was really #2 performer.

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