Today’s story features a young table tennis athlete, Xiang Peng. The 14-year-old Xiang Peng played against Zhang Jike in the team competition at the 2017 National Games. The unheard athlete almost won over grand-slam athlete Zhang Jike. He won 11-4 in one of the games. Even Zhang Jike praised Xiang Peng’s performance. Xiang Peng has a memorable experience at his first National Games. The story of his youth is remarkable. (Sep 8 in Zhejiang College of Sports Table Tennis Center) What could I do if I injured my leg today? I will not let my opponent notice my injury. If you do not experience this today, how are you going to make that in competitions? When did you come? Why didn’t you come earlier? You should come at 14:20 and start stretching. Team Zhejiang did not take a break after the National Games. Xiang Peng pulled his muscles in his right leg due to lack of warm up. The pain made him wanted to stop training. Therefore the coach scolded him just now. In Zhao Di’s (head coach of Team Zhejiang) point of view, training is as equal as competition. Any minor mistakes in training will become loopholes in competitions. This will give opponents opportunity to win. Everyone knows he should train. However he may not know the appropriate way to train himself. That’s why we need to let him know the do’s and don’ts at a young age. How to correct their mistakes and improve on what they are good at. These are taught at a young age. Xiang Peng continues his training. The timid kid shows no fear while he is playing table tennis. With a fighting spirit in mind. His role models are Ma Long, Zhang Jike and Fan Zhendong. The most memorable moment is the last match at the National Games. He played against Zhang Jike as the no.1 player. We thought it was a one-sided game but it turned out to be a 5-game thriller. Xiang Peng won game 1 (11-9) and game 4 (11-4). It looks exciting. There were lots of fans cheering for Zhang Jike. My mental game went through ups and downs. I got very excited when I won 1 game. I got less nervous afterwards. However after winning 2 game, I started thinking of winning. Despite the 2-3 defeat, his performance has won Zhang Jike’s compliment. Zhang Jike gave him 5 pieces of rubber as a gift. I think he has the potential. His technique, touches and his aggressiveness are great. I wish he can improve his technique and physiques in the future. These are all specially produced rubber. It’s an honor to receive rubber from an Olympic champion. Xiang Peng’s father sent Xiang Peng to take table tennis classes at a young age because Xiang Peng was too energetic. Yet Xiang Peng gradually revealed his rare talent in table tennis. He is serious about training. And a victory at the cadet competition has aroused his interest in table tennis. Our primary school attended a table tennis competition in Wenning city. I represented my school. We won the chapion in that competition. I like that feeling. I am eager to win. After that, Xiang Peng has a more professional training. In 2014, at age 11, Xiang Peng won 2 gold and 1 silver at the 15th Provincial Games of Zhejiang. He then became a member of the provincial team. Wang Jianjun: Xiang Peng is a clever table tennis player. He has the versatility. It is rare to see young athletes at age 14 with so many varieties in his playing style. He is a promising young athlete. Xiang Peng trains like an adult as he enters the provincial team. The long hours of training had given him blisters on his hand. After the loop, I feel like I have ripped my skin. You have to withstand it. In my days, my hand bleed. My coach monitors me closely. The training is tough. There were times that I don’t want to practice because of my bad performance. I could only stay strong at those times. There are many outstanding table tennis athletes in the Chinese team. Hard work is indispensable in order to become a world champion. There are no room for laziness. From the coaches’ point of view, there is a long way ahead of Xiang Peng. There are in-born talent, but it has no use if you do not train hard. Hard work is the first step. You have to set high standards like the world champions and Olympic champions shown on the wall. Coaches might scold you many times. This is because he has high expectation on you. He must know that he is the future of Team Zhejiang. The anchor of the team. Xiang Peng has 6 hours of training everyday. He has extra training in weekends. His biggest goal is to be the top 4 in the boys’ singles at the Chinese Junior National Championships. With this result, he can directly qualify to the national B team. Which is also a step closer to his dream. I will strive for being the top 4 in the boys’ singles at 2017 Chinese Junior National Championships. I will try my best. I will follow the footsteps of the Olympic champion and the grand-slam athletes. We wish Xiang Peng can fulfill his dream of being the champion.