China’s women table tennis Olympic squad lost 1-4 in the team event to their compatriots, while head coach Kong Linghui took it as “normal” here on Thursday.
The Olympic squad, namely Li Xiaoxia, Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen, all suffered a loss in their respective singles matches. Olympic defending champion Li and world champion Ding lost to Zhu Yuling and Mu Zi 1-3 respectively. World No. 1 Liu was defeated by Chen Meng at 1-3, reports Xinhua.
“It’s a high-quality contest. Our players always have a win-loss record in their daily training and competition. Every opponent is very tough for the Olympic squad, so I think it’s normal,” said coach Kong.
Kong put more emphasis on the Olympic squad’s improvement during the game.
“They’ve showed much concentration, and what they’ve achieved during training can be seen in the game. Our players are so familiar with each other, and their opponents obviously feel much less pressure without Olympic participation,” Kong added.
Liu and Ding lost to Zhu Yuling and Chen Meng, Asian Games champions, in the doubles matchup 3-0.
“Zhu and Chen have a long-time partnership, and they are the Asian Games champions. Ding and Liu didn’t take the chance when they led at 10-7 in the second game, which made it more difficult,” said Kong.
The team is scheduled to fly back to Beijing on Friday, before heading to Sao Paulo on July 21 for adjustment en route to the August Rio Olympic Games.