ITTF recently posted online that Ma Long and Zhang Jike were the two Chinese players confirmed to be entered in the Singles event for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. This presents an opportunity for a truly epic battle. The two best players in the World on the biggest stage of all.
|Titans Set for Rio Singles|
What Stands in the Way?
There are only a few things which could take this glorious moment away from us. The first one is that one of the two lose before the final. This is Ma Long's first appearance in the Olympic Singles so we don't know how he will play under this much pressure. For Zhang Jike his form has been in a slump for quite a while, will he be in top shape by Rio?
The other thing is if they make the final and the match isn't as glamorous as we hope. Many of Zhang Jike and Ma Long's more recent clashes have been much less inspiring than their old battles.
Aside from that we can only hope that two of the best players of the modern age will be ready to give it their all for the prestigious Olympic gold medal. For Ma Long it is the opportunity to become a Grand Slam Champion and join the ranks of the best players in history. For Jike it is the chance to make unmatched history by claiming a second Grand Slam.
Head to Head in ITTF events it is Ma Long who leads 10-5 but in Rio the stats will be out the window. It will be a battle of skill, tactics, experience and mental toughness!
What Can We Hope For?
Personally I am just hoping to see some of this, how it used to be! ;)
Repeat Scenario For Women's?
In the women's singles it was Liu Shiwen who has been set aside to potentially allow for a repeat of the London 2012 final between Li Xiaoxia and Ding Ning.
Should the two make the final again could we see a similar result or will Ding Ning learn from her London experience and tough it out to take gold? Who knows! It promises to be exciting!