SUZHOU, East China - Liu Guoliang, head coach of the Chinese men's table tennis team, confirmed Thursday that the only two spots of men's singles table tennis in China's Asian Games squad will neither be decided by trials nor by local league results.
"We don't have enough time to go through trials ahead of November's Asian Games," said the 34-year-old boss. "My players could be so tired after May's world team championships, the four-month Super League starting in June, September's team World Cup and October's singles World Cup."
Before the team worlds last May in Moscow, the Chinese men's team spent three and a half months on five stops of opening trials to decide the five and only names of its title-defending squad.
"Things have differed from those ahead of the Moscow world team championships," Liu said. "We could put all our efforts into the preparations for Moscow since nothing is bigger than worlds."
"But we could only have 20 days to summon the squad just for the Asian Games table tennis competitions, which, recalling to my memory, would be the shortest term of preparations for an important domestic grand event," he added.
Also, rumors had been around that the player who finished this season's Super League with the best winning rate would earn a direct berth to the Asian Games' men's singles event, which was described by Liu as nothing true.
"I can ensure you that we won't take the local league results as a decisive factor for Asian Games spots," he said. "I don't know who started the rumors, but it's nothing true."