I'm Ready to Retire - Zhang Jike Table Tennis Athlete
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Zhang Jike battles against Ma Long in the Olympic Singles finals – Photo courtesy of ITTFWorld

I’m Ready to Retire – Zhang Jike

I’m Ready to Retire – Zhang Jike

Courtesy of ITTF / By Henry Chen 

Zhang Jike may not have shown a spectacular exhibition of his talents in the Rio Olympic Games but he was certainly able to execute a reliable performance for China. As he successfully fulfilled his mission, Liu Guoliang believes that Zhang Jike still has the chance to be in Tokyo Olympic Games but, it seems that the Grand Slam champion is not too eager about the idea.

Zhang Jike battles against Ma Long in the Olympic Singles finals - Photo courtesy of ITTFWorld

Zhang Jike battles against Ma Long in the Olympic Singles finals – Photo courtesy of ITTFWorld

“As for Zhang Jike, it depends on him. If he feels that playing is interesting then he has a very big chance, unless he feels weary and tired.”

That was the comment of Liu Guoliang on whether Zhang Jike can still adhere for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The 28-year old Grand Slam champion performed relatively well in the recently concluded Rio Olympic Games. He fulfilled his mission in the Singles as he reached the finals against Ma Long. In the Team event, he managed to stay unbeaten throughout the competition, a much better performance than London.

Zhang Jike & Ma Long after the Olympic Singles finals - Photo courtesy of the Official FaceBook page of Zhang Jike

Zhang Jike & Ma Long after the Olympic Singles finals – Photo courtesy of the Official FaceBook page of Zhang Jike

Liu Guoliang, in fact, had a high level of trust on Zhang Jike in the very engaging final match against Japan. If worse came to worst, the head coach believed that Zhang Jike can still save the team.

“If the round reached the fifth match, I believe that Zhang Jike would be able to win against Jun Mizutani because he has the heart to do it,” Liu Guoliang explained.

Zhang Jike’s strength is his reliable psychological abilities and that’s the reason why he was arranged to be the third person in that final bout. People may not have witnessed a very spectacular exhibition from Zhang Jike in Rio but definitely it was a reliable performance.

Zhang Jike flies in the Olympic Team finals against Japan - Photo courtesy of Marcelo Machado de Melo/Fotoarena

Zhang Jike flies in the Olympic Team finals against Japan – Photo courtesy of Marcelo Machado de Melo/Fotoarena

Following the successful fulfillment of his assignment in Rio, Zhang Jike took his free time to interact with his fans through an online application called XiaoMi. That’s where he first revealed his thoughts on retirement.

“I’m ready to get back and retire,” Zhang Jike said. “I am telling this to everyone in advance. Please calm down. Very tired, I could not move well. You said that I’ve got all the accomplishments so what’s more to fight for.”

Zhang Jike has successfully conquered the most important competitions in table tennis. Although he can be the first ever to achieve a second round of Grand Slam in Tokyo, he thinks that four years is a lot of time.

“Sooner or later, there will come a day that I will retire. I cannot fight until 50 years old,” he added.

Lastly, to ease his already sobbing fans, Zhang Jike said:

“But I would fight for you. It will also be a happy thing.” 

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