Liu Guoliang:The international table tennis competition is the first to restart in China, and is as excited as participating in the Olympic Games for the first time
The sudden new crown epidemic has brought international sports events” Shut down”. After 8 months, the international table tennis series of events restarted in China. Following the 2020 ITTF Women’s and Men’s World Cups in Weihai, Shandong Province, the 2020 ITTF Finals will be held in Zhengzhou, Henan from November 19 to 22. These three events are the first international sports events that have been approved by international sports organizations and participated by foreign players in China based on relevant domestic work plans since the outbreak.
The international table tennis tournament is the first to restart in China, not only responding to the long-awaited expectations of table tennis fans around the world for months, but also showing the world the results of my country’s epidemic prevention and control. Yesterday, at the Zhengzhou Olympic Stadium in Henan Province, we interviewed Liu Guoliang, Chairman of the Chinese Table Tennis Association and Chairman of the WTT World Table Tennis Federation.
The ITTF has inspected many places and finally feel that China is the safest
Q:This time the ITTF The final is the first international sports event held in China to have spectators enter the stadium since the outbreak. Why can this competition be held in China?
Liu Guoliang:The epidemic has a great impact on sports. This year there was a World Table Tennis Championships and the Olympic Games, but they were all cancelled. The ITTF has always wanted to find a safe place all over the world to create a bubble for international competitions, so that players, coaches, and related staff can be isolated in a unified manner, and all staff will be tested after passing the test. This isolation is like separating all participants in the game. They are all packed into a closed bubble to prevent the virus from spreading during the game. They visited many places and finally felt that China was the safest. This is good news for people playing table tennis all over the world, including table tennis fans.
Q:The ongoing epidemic has posed a challenge to the sports industry. Why can we take the lead in getting table tennis back on track?
Liu Guoliang:No matter how the epidemic hits, China’s epidemic prevention is still the best in the world. Table tennis needs competition too much now. When the world encounters difficulties, China is a big country, and the China Table Tennis Association is the largest association among the ITTF. We should take the initiative to shoulder this responsibility. Of course, we also have the conditions for this.
How to find a way to quarantine foreign athletes in China for 14 days? This is a difficult problem
Q:The epidemic is still ongoing Global spread, how to make foreign athletes feel relieved to participate in China?
Liu Guoliang:In order to take into account the safety of epidemic prevention and the restart of sports events, we require foreigners to be isolated for 14 days after entering the country. At first, some foreign athletes resisted the 14-day quarantine. This is understandable. They are not isolated in their own country. How to find a way to isolate him in China is a difficult problem. We also told them at the time that this is for the safety of the players, not for who is willing or unwilling, but also for your own protection. We also said that after entering the country from Shanghai for three days of quarantine for nucleic acid testing, and then transferred to our base in a fully enclosed manner. After 8 days, they can start training with the ball in a closed manner. When they hear the training with the ball, they feel There is a chance. Because they do not have international competitions in their own country, their world rankings, their points, and their level will be greatly affected. So I started to be excited, but I still worried about whether it was like I said. We strive for perfection in the details of event services, such as providing food according to everyone’s eating habits. Including the Japanese player Mima Ito was the first to propose whether a table can be placed in the room she lives in. She hopes to be able to train at any time every day . We helped her find a suite to put the table to facilitate her training. Later, they communicated with the athletes and they reported that, as I said before, China’s epidemic prevention is very good, and they have gradually moved from initial suspicion and worry to acceptance and gratitude.
Q:Is there any pressure in your heart to restart the table tennis project?
Liu Guoliang:Always. From the time I first got this idea, I knew that opportunities and risks coexist. But what to do? The world has chosen China, they believe in China, and China has the conditions to host the game. When we bravely stepped out of this step, we did a lot of meticulous and meticulous work. Every day we have meetings. Wechat groups are posting various updates 24 hours a day, when each player will land, when will he stay in a hotel, what is the situation, whether he has performed a nucleic acid test, there is a lot of work every day, and the meetings will last until two. Three o’clock is commonplace. Several months of preparation can restart the game and be a complete success, which requires too many people’s efforts and efforts. When the game hasn’t started, I feel that the moment when the game starts is the most exciting, no less than the first time to participate in the Olympics. This was indeed the case at the moment of the game, and my heart was full of pride and pride.
I didn’t feel that way before participating in the competition. Now I feel that whoever stands on the field is the happiest
Q:8 What does it mean to not play for a month, and how to realize the desire of athletes to return to the game?
Liu Guoliang:I was also an athlete once, and I understand everyone’s desire to return to the game. Training is for the game. There is no goal every day. Setting a goal is postponed and waiting aimlessly. The inner panic, anxiety, and overwhelming are inevitable, and the psychological pressure on the athletes is also huge.
No matter how well an athlete practices, he doesn’t know how he plays. What innovations have our opponents made in the past 8 months, what changes have we made, whether the world is changing, how did you train during the epidemic, and finally the mules are pulled out by horses for a walk. After this time, I believe everyone There will be an assessment. Including myself, I don’t just look at our Chinese players. I pay more attention to the development and changes of players all over the world. How they maintain during the epidemic is directly related to their country’s epidemic prevention and control and training conditions.
The players who came to the competition this time, when we chat together, their biggest feeling is happiness. They didn’t feel that way before participating in the competition. Now I feel who is standing on the field. Is the happiest. There are still some athlete coaches around the world who did not have the opportunity to compete in China this time. They also sent us WeChat and called us, saying that they were too envious of the restart of the international competition in China, and they did not expect to be able to do it here.
Q:The audience’s entry to watch the game is a highlight of the ITTF Finals. What does the return of the audience mean to the game?
Liu Guoliang:In the first stop, the players restarted, and now the fans restarted. In fact, no matter how good a player plays, he still needs the support and attention of fans and fans. Sports is a kind of interaction and linkage. To cheer the players through the fans entering the field is to show everyone’s spirit and will in a sense.
The spirit that athletes burst into and out of the arena should be passed on to everyone
Q:The success of international table tennis tournaments in China What does”restart” mean?
Liu Guoliang:After hard work, we finally made this game really restart. The reason why China’s table tennis is strong is that it is strong at the root, is the strong ping-pong culture, and is by no means a strong little family. We hope that our opponents will be stronger, and we hope that our opponents can promote our progress. We will spare no effort to help table tennis all over the world. This is the mind and show of the great power of table tennis. This time they saw it, and we did it.
In fact, in addition to the opening of the project, this is also a window for China to open to the world and a platform. In fact, sports is a kind of soft power. Through this channel, everyone can see China’s success in fighting the epidemic. More than 100 people from 27 countries and regions have seen it. They use their own voices and their performance to show to fans all over the world, and at the same time send a signal. I think it is a reference for table tennis or other sports. Including the Tokyo Olympics, it is also necessary to cross the river by feeling the stones. There will always be people who have to take the first step bravely.
Q:How can the competitive state and sportsmanship that athletes burst out on the field for other industries?
Liu Guoliang:In this game, I saw that every player tried their best. I can see that everyone cherishes the opportunity of the game and the training every day. During the epidemic, many foreign players trained at home, which reflects their professionalism and love of career. This spirit of not giving up should be passed on to everyone.
I think the most important thing is this spirit. Because the anxiety caused by the epidemic is common. So in fact, the more important thing for people is their inner strength. In the face of a sudden epidemic, everyone is more or less anxious and irritable. We must slowly adapt to it. Under this normalized prevention and control situation, we cannot affect our lives and work, but the premise is still safe. Just like when I took the team with me at the beginning of the year, people joked that I wandered around the earth for half a year. I don’t know when to return to China, when the epidemic will end, or when the game will restart. Fortunately, we did not miss a day of training in half a year, and we all made the right choices, so after the restart of the competition, the Chinese team maintained the best competitive state in these few races.
I think sports is a kind of spirit. Athletes can do it, and the Chinese table tennis team can do it. Players from 27 countries and regions came to China for a common dream. In the process of resuming work and production in all walks of life, we may encounter difficulties of this kind, but as long as we have a firm conviction and determination, we will surely overcome the epidemic as soon as possible. Especially under the current circumstances, if the whole world is united, the epidemic can be brought under control as soon as possible. I believe that everyone is looking forward to this day.