Liu Jing ready to face rival Seo Su Yeon for table tennis gold

Jing beat the South Korean in the final at the 2014 table tennis worlds, and knows she will be looking for revenge. 17 Oct 2014
Liu Jiang
By Devon Robertson | for the IPC

“As long as I am on the court, I will fight with my best [effort].”

China’s four-time Paralympic and world champion, Liu Jing, knows she will face tough competition from South Korea’s Seo Su Yeon for table tennis gold at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games in South Korea between 18-24 October.

The duo have regularly traded blows ever since the South Korean come onto the scene in 2013, most famously in the class 1-2 final at the recent 2014 ITTF Para-Table Tennis World Championships in Beijing, China, with home-favourite Jing coming out on top.

It was not plain sailing for Jing on route to her fifth World Championship title, however, having to survive an early scare from Su Yeon.

And the 26-year-old knows the South Korean will be hungry for revenge in Incheon and has marked the left-handed class 2 competitor as her biggest threat.

“I lost to her in the first stage single event of the World Championship in Beijing last month,” Jing said.

“Though I won in the final, it was a very tough game. She is a good player with very balanced skill. I will prepare for another tough game [against] her.”

South Korea have always been one of China’s biggest table tennis rivals. Su Yeon has been rising through the ranks, currently placed third behind Jing, the world No.1, and Russia’s Nadejda Pouchpacheva. But Jing is determined to hold on to her first place ranking and will not go down easily.

“As long as I am on the court, I will fight with my best [effort].”

Four years ago, Jing narrowly missed a double-gold on home soil at the 2010 Asian Para Games.

She won a gold medal with teammate Li Qian, but lost to her in the final singles match and it is clear this is an outcome she does not plan on repeating in 2014.

“Four years ago at the Guangzhou Asian Para Games, I didn’t get the gold for singles. I look forward to making it in Incheon.”

Following Incheon, the Jiangsu native plans on taking a competitive break before focusing on the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

She has placed high importance on being emotionally and physically prepared for important games to come.

“All athletes have to be confident and have a positive attitude and firm belief in themselves. Pressure and difficulties in a competition is normal for a player, what you have to do is face it with confidence and solve [these] difficulties one by one.”

The Asian Para Games will see athletes from 41 countries compete in 23 sports.