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Liu praises his mother for success at University Games

Summer Games 2 August 2023

Some parents don’t support their children’s sporting careers, but it wasn’t the case for Liu Dingshuo, the Chengdu FISU World University Games champion.

The mother of the 25-year-old Chinese athlete was the backbone of his table tennis career.

“No one in my family was involved in sports though my mother brought me to ping pong when I was young,” an excited Liu said after winning the mixed doubles final at the High-tech Zone Sport Centre Gymnasium.

Wang Xiaotong (R) and Xue Fei (China) silver medallists in mixed doubles

Liu paired with Qian Tiamyi to defeat compatriots Wang Xiaotong and Xue Fei 4-1 (11-4, 11-7, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6) in the mixed doubles final.

The student from East China University of Science and Technology began practicing table tennis when he was just 6.

“The tournament is not quite over yet,” continued Liu. “Only two events have taken place, and there are two more days of competition. I hope to take it one match at a time.

“The atmosphere is excellent, I enjoy playing ping pong in this kind of occasion. The University Games represent a great platform, I cherish this opportunity. There are still doubles and singles to be played. The challenge will be to perform at my standard. I will do my best.”

Qian idolizes five-time Olympic champion and world number three Ma Long.

Ma is the only male player to complete a career Double Grand Slam, winning back-to-back Olympic gold in men’s singles for China at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

“Ma Long is my idol, I want to achieve what he achieved, and break more records than him if possible,” claims Qian speaking of the ping pong legend.

The student from Shanghai Sports University continued, “I was a very active child, kind of naughty in kindergarten. A coach picked ping pong for me and then it became my road. No one was playing ping pong in my family.

“For the future I plan to take one step at a time, you just need to walk your path,” she concluded.

Writer by Hassan FISU Young Reporter