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The hardest match of Ma Long

The game that Ma Long never forgets.

Ma Long vs Jeoung Young-sik

This is the most thrilling battle of Ma Long. The South Korean coaches have studied Ma Long’s game several months before this battle.

Coach Liu Guoliang has consumed a lot of energy for this battle. Noone can assure 100% win in table tennis, especially for the Olympics Games.

This is the Men Single Round 1/8 in the Rio Olympics. In the end, Jeoung Young-sik has burst into tears. He lost the game. But he earned the respect of everyone in the stadium, both from Ma Long and coach Liu.


After the game, Jeoung Young-sik said in the interview

“the coach and I have spent several months studying the video of Ma Long’s technique and tactics. Because Ma Long will never study my game, so I have a chance. And the study has paid off. I was leading Ma Long 2-0”.

When Ma Long was leading 10-7 at the second set, Jeoung Young-sik has score 5 points in a row. He made a magical come-back. That even coach Liu can’t believe in his eye. This is very rare that Ma Long can’t finish the set. This is a critical and very dangerous situation for both Ma Long, and for China.

Ma Long’s morale was down completely. Look at his gesture, he lost everything.

The most difficult match of Ma Long

But during the break, Liu Guoliang has a miracle coaching method. Ma Long’s mental strength is now at zero. Coach Liu asked Ma Long to change his jersey.

Coach Liu Guoliang has a special method to boost Ma Long's mental
Coach Liu Guoliang has a special method to boost Ma Long’s mental

He talked to Ma Long

“When you come back with a new jersey, you should think that this is a new game. Forget the score”.

And it worked. Ma Long is very calm now. He forgets completely that he was down 0-2. He just comes back and started to play like a new game.

Here is what he said to Ma Long, more accurately:

“As you walk out of the stadium, you lost already. You just lost the game for China on the most important international stage, the Olympics. Now when you walk back into the stadium with the new jersey, you must treat it as if 上天(Chinese way of saying God) just gave you the second chance for you to rewrite your life and history.”

Before each Olympic, the Chinese national team also trains them to play with a starting big score of 0-2 or 0-3 in a best of 7 to build their resilience under extreme pressure.

For the third game, the two players are starting again, as a new match. Ma Long won 11-5 in the 3rd game.

Ma Long comes back
Ma Long comes back

In the 4th game, Ma Long has found his peak performance. He stepped back, and use his ultimate weapon, his forehand attack. The score is exaggerated 11-1.

Yes, every time when Ma Long was in trouble, he relied on his forehand topspin, the most powerful and the most consistent on the planet.

In the 5th game, both players are very anxious. Because this is the deciding game, who won this game will win the match.

Ma Long is down 0-2
Ma Long is down 0-2

From 9-9 to 11-11, the score is very close. The game was super exciting. Ma Long was more confident at this moment, he won 13-11. Liu Guoliang was so excited, he jumped up.

In the 6h game, nothing to lose. The South Korean started to attack more. Ma Long was quickly behind.

The score is 7-10. Ma Long used his backhand serve. This showed that Ma Long wanted to slow down the pace of the game. And it worked.
Jeoung Young-sik lost 3 match points in a row. It hurts too much. Both coaches outside are very nervous.

Ma Long has the solution

In the end, Ma Long narrowly won 13-11. This is the most thrilling match of Ma Long’s whole career. Jeoung Young-sik was so regretful. He could defeat Ma Long.
The image that he hides his face and crying has touched a lot of table tennis fans.

Coach Liu jumped up
Coach Liu jumped up

He has reached his limit, but still can’t defeat Ma Long. But he won the respect of all the table tennis fans.

After winning this game, Ma Long is undefeatable. This game opens a new era for Ma Long. He won every one and becomes the Grand Slam table tennis.

Today, he is the greatest table tennis player of all time. But he will never forget this game.

Jeoung Young-sik cried after the match
Jeoung Young-sik cried after the match


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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

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