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Liu Guoliang Notices The Threat From Younger Opponents (Videos)  - Tabletennista

Liu Guoliang Notices The Threat From Younger Opponents (Videos)

Chen Chien An, Lee Sang Su, Kenta Matsudaira and Koki Niwa had an increase to their popularity levels after they posed great challenge against Chinese players in the recently concluded World Team Cup in Guangzhou. Of course, head coach Liu Guoliang was able to notice such potentials from these younger and brilliant opponents. This eventually led him to take them seriously as they are potential hazards to the glory of the Chinese Team.  


 

Sina Sports. It was the Chinese Men's Team who took the championship title in the 2013 World Team Cup last week but the sensational performances of younger players like Chen Chien An, Lee Sang Su, Koki Niwa and Kenta Matsudaira are definitely worth looking for. 

Timo Boll, Vladimir Samsonov, Werner Schlager, Joo Sae Hyuk, Ryu Seung Min, Jun Mizutani, just to name a few, have always been on the list of opponents for the Chinese Team. However, in the recently concluded World Team Cup in Guangzhou, new names have joined on such list and they ate Lee Sang Su, Koki Niwa, Kenta Matsudaira, and Chen Chien An. 

The Chinese Team started the competition with powerful scores nailing each match with a 3-0. However, such strong performance ended when they faced South Korean in the quarterfinals. The opening set in such battle went to Lee Sang Su with an 11-9 against Xu Xin. Throughout the match, despite loss at the end, the South Korean rookie has displayed a great deal of potential showing some brilliant attacks over the table. 

Xu Xin vs Lee Sang Su 2013 World Team Cup
video kindly shared by ittfchannel

After winning over South Korea, China progressed into the penultimate stage against Japan. This time, China was placed under pressure as Liu Guoliang has admitted. For the first time in the competition, China lost a match. The Olympic champions Zhang Jike and Wang Hao lost to Koki Niwa and Kenta Matsudaira in the Doubles. After which, Matsudaira pressured Xu Xin in a very tight match. However, the Chinese Team still won in 3-1. 

Xu Xin vs Jun Mizutani 2013 World Team Cup
video kindly shared by janus770

Zhang Jike/Wang Hao vs Koki Niwa/Kenta Matsudaira 2013 World Team Cup
video kindly shared by ittfchannel

Xu Xin vs Kenta Matsudaira 2013 World Team Cup
video kindly shared by ittfchannel

Probably the most successful upset in the competition was in the finals against Chinese Taipei after Chen Chien An defeated the Grand Slam champion Zhang Jike in 3-2. 

Zhang Jike vs Chen Chien An 2013 World Team Cup
video kindly shared by janus770

Of course, this series of events has left a mark on Liu Guoliang, head coach of the Chinese Team. For him, these younger opponents should be taken seriously as they can be hazardous to the glory of the Chinese table tennis team.  

"Everyone has started developing the strength of their younger players after the London Olympics. Judging from the current situation, the overall strength of the younger players is still behind China but their impact on us is very strong. They cannot be overlooked as they have the potential." 

This just proves that it is possible for younger and less-experienced players to defeat even the greatest Grand Slam champions in the world.  

Photo source: sports.sina.com.cn