CHINA / SOCIETY
Netizens encourage, thank Chinese table tennis players despite loss of mixed-doubles gold
Published: Jul 27, 2021 02:16 PM
Xu Xin (L, top)/Liu Shiwen (R, top) of China compete during table tennis mixed doubles quarterfinal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, July 25, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

Xu Xin (L, top)/Liu Shiwen (R, top) of China compete during table tennis mixed doubles quarterfinal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, July 25, 2021. Photo: Xinhua


Floods of Chinese netizens have comforted Chinese table tennis players Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, who were defeated by their Japanese counterparts Monday evening in the mixed-doubles final at the Tokyo Olympics and won silver medal. 

During the final, the Chinese table tennis pair won the first two sets but suffered the host group's reversal and lost the first gold medal of Chinese table tennis team by a score of 3-4. The Japanese pair Jun Mizutani and Mima Itō won the gold medal.

As members of the world-leading table tennis team who have experience in countless international matches, Liu and Xu were disappointed. 

After the final, Liu cried and said she felt sorry for everyone. Later at a press conference, Liu said the result was "hard to accept." Echoing Liu, Xu said although they were well prepared, the result matters in competitive sports.

During the press conference, Xu praised Ito's performance, saying she is a "world-class player among female players."

Netizens rushed to support Liu and Xu, with many saying "whatever the result, you are the Chinese pride."

Several related topics trended on Chinese Twitter-like social media platform Sina Weibo, including "players did not do anything wrong to be sorry."

"We should not take Chinese players winning gold medals for granted. The athletes are under a lot of pressure and the Japanese team was also a formidable opponent. Xu and Liu will always be our pride!" One netizen's comment quickly gained more than 170,000 likes.

This battle was not easy for Xu and Liu who were recovering from injuries. In addition, they hadn't played together in a while, said another netizen.

Close to the end of the game as the Japanese team was leading, Japanese actor Yuki Furukawa posted on Weibo asking Chinese netizens "you watching the Olympics?" 

The question angered Chinese netizens who viewed it as a ''show off.'' But Furukawa was adamant. Due to pressure, the Japanese actor apologized, "I'm really sorry if I have offended you. I really didn't mean it. It was wrong timing. I should have been more careful with my words. I apologize."

However, many netizens still didn't accept his apology. 

Apart from losing to the Japanese duo in the table tennis mixed-double, Team China on Monday also failed to win a gold medal in other events including diving and weightlifting, which Chinese players are good at. 

Xinhua News Agency commented that "victory and defeat are both common in battle" and encouraged Chinese players to struggle hard with confidence. Xinhua called on the public to establish a rational view of gold, victory and defeat, and enjoy the Olympics.


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