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Liu Guoliang: 100-day countdown is just a number

(Xinhua)

10:54, April 19, 2012

HONG KONG, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Liu Guoliang, head coach of Chinese men's table tennis team, said on Wednesday that the preparation for London Olympics had begun long ago and the 100-day countdown to the Olympics is just a number or a symbol.

"The countdown makes no difference. It is just a number. In fact, the preparation for London Games started long ago. The Olympics begins from preparation, not the day it opens," said Liu, who was attending the draw ceremony of the Asian Zone qualifying tournament of Olympic table tennis competitions, in which the top seven finishers will go to London.

World's No.1 paddler Ma Long represents China in the tournament. Liu believed that it would a good opportunity for Olympic rookie Ma Long to feel the Olympic atmosphere ahead of London.

"If everything goes smooth, Ma Long will be the first to qualify for London," said Liu. "The match might be not the highest level but it is very important for every player. And as part of the Olympic Games, it will be very competitive because going to the Olympics is the ultimate goal for every player."

"The 100-day countdown only means that the Olympics is getting closer," said the coach. "The Olympic Games hold different meanings to different players. To us, it only means to win the gold medals. It gives us pressure and we have turned pressure into motivation."

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