Xinhua News Agency, Houston, November 25th, title: Table tennis, the love of a lifetime-Interview with Liu Guoliang, Executive Vice President of ITTF

  Xinhua News Agency reporters Xu Jianmei, Pan Lijun, Xingyue

  At the ITTF Congress held on the 24th, Liu Guoliang, Chairman of the World Table Tennis Federation (WTT) Council and Chairman of the Chinese Table Tennis Association, was elected as the Executive Vice Chairman of the ITTF.

  From the athletes and coaches who used to gallop on the field, to the chairman of the Chinese Table Tennis Association and the chairman of the WTT Council, as his identity continues to change, Liu Guoliang has more thoughts about the development of world table tennis, but his love for this sport has changed from Unchanged.

  "Ping-pong is the sport I love most in my life, and it is also the goal of my life. I will do it all my life." Liu Guoliang said in an interview.

  Liu Guoliang said that when he competed for the national table tennis head coach in 2013, he was thinking about how to make table tennis develop in the world.

"Table tennis cannot only belong to China, it belongs to the world. Only when the world develops, China's table tennis can develop better."

  Liu Guoliang said that his position and identity have changed over the past few years. There are more and more things to communicate with and connect with the world of table tennis, and his ideas have gradually become reality.

Whether it is the ITTF or WTT, the goal and vision is to promote and popularize table tennis all over the world.

To fulfill this dream and vision requires cooperation with Chinese table tennis.

  Outsiders believe that Liu Guoliang is one of the most appropriate candidates to lead the world table tennis.

However, it is understood that the presidency of the ITTF requires very complicated and tedious preparatory work, and this preparatory process coincides with the time for the Chinese team to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics. In the end, Liu Guoliang chose to devote all his energy to the preparations for the Chinese team. .

  Liu Guoliang explained: “After being elected chairman of the Chinese Table Tennis Association in 2018, I think the most important goal is to lead the Chinese team to raise the national flag and play the national anthem in the Tokyo Olympics. The Olympic strategy is still the top priority. At the most critical moment, if you let If you are distracted, you may lose more than you gain.” He also said that he can become more familiar with the internal operating mechanism of the ITTF over the past few years, and let everyone know more about the thinking of the Chinese Table Tennis Association.

  Liu Guoliang said that in the first half of his life, from the athletes, head coach, head coach, chairman of the Chinese Table Tennis Association, chairman of the WTT Council, to the executive vice chairman of the ITTF, he was taking steps one step at a time, hoping to go more solidly. Be able to make a real contribution to table tennis in every position.

  This year coincides with the 50th anniversary of Sino-US "Ping Pong Diplomacy". Before the Houston World Table Tennis Championships, the Chinese Table Tennis Association and the United States Table Tennis Association submitted an application to the ITTF to allow the Sino-US mixed doubles to participate. The request was obtained by the ITTF. With the approval of the executive committee, Chinese athletes Lin Gaoyuan and Wang Manyu were paired with American players Zhang An and Kanak to participate in the mixed doubles competition.

  Liu Guoliang is a key figure in promoting the China-US mixed doubles competition.

Speaking of this idea, he said that he was also "a brainstorm" at the time.

  "After listening to the US Table Tennis Association, it was very positive and expressed its willingness to play with Chinese players. It can be said that the opinions of both sides coincide. In fact, when Zhang An was training in China before, he expressed many times that he hoped to compete with Chinese athletes. So The Chinese Table Tennis Association and the United States Table Tennis Association proposed this idea to the ITTF."

  At this time, the registration deadline before the lottery ceremony is very close. The Chinese Table Tennis Association and the US Table Tennis Association jointly submitted the application report. The matching scheme was finally realized.

  "If you can pass on the friendship between the two peoples through the carrier of table tennis, through the interaction of the table tennis players of the two countries on the court, everyone will feel that this is the glory of table tennis history." Liu Guoliang said, "If another 10 years pass. , 20, 50 years, when people refer to the 50th anniversary of Sino-US "ping-pong diplomacy", they will remember the first joint pairing between Chinese and American players, and they will remember Lin Gaoyuan, Wang Manyu, Zhang An, and Cana Gram these four athletes."

  In Liu Guoliang's view, the whole world knows that the Chinese table tennis team is the strongest. As a big country in table tennis, China should demonstrate such a great power and promote the development of table tennis in the world.

"We can win all the championships, and we can also help promote the development of table tennis in countries around the world. This is a very good action to convey China's table tennis culture and sports spirit to the world."

  Liu Guoliang believes that after the Rio Olympics and the Tokyo Olympics, many young people like this sport more and more, which is a very good trend.

  For this World Table Tennis Championships, Liu Guoliang is more willing to look at it from the perspective of preparing for the Paris Olympics.

"All competitions are prepared for Paris. As the World Table Tennis Championships, we need to get results, and we also need to train the team. There is no contradiction between training teams and getting results. The World Table Tennis Championships are a very good stage, just for the young players. The stage of impact." He said.