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The Man Behind Ng Ka Long: Liu Zhi-heng

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The Man Behind Ng Ka Long: Liu Zhi-heng
2015-12-22

The Man Behind Ng Ka Long: Liu Zhi-heng

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There is a Chinese saying: “Behind every successful man there is a woman,” but for Hong Kong badminton Representative Ng Ka Long, instead of a woman, the one behind his success is a man: his coach Liu Zhiheng. From the age of 12 Ng was trained and fostered unfailingly by Coach Liu which leads him to become the famous ‘Lin Dan Killer’.

Ng joined the Hong Kong Junior Team when he was 12. In the past 9 year, Coach Liu and he have clinched a lot of medals which Coach Liu even couldn’t remember what exactly they are, ‘Ka Long has gold in Men’s Doubles and Men’s Singles of World Junior Championship and City Games respectively and quite a few other tournaments. There are too many, I can’t really remember.’

In Coach Liu’s eyes, what kind of player Ka Long is? Coach said,’ Ka Long is a very obedient and disciplined player. He treats his training seriously and always demands himself in a high level. When he was facing the public examination in Form 6, he went to school in the morning and came back to practise in the afternoon. He has never missed a single training session.

There were times that Ng lost his temper in the matches; Coach Liu advised him that high level players can always control their emotions. ‘Ka Long sometimes was impatient. If the practice wasn’t going well, he will be very emotional. Sometimes in the competitions too, I can tell from his facial expression. I told him to calm down. All world top players can control their emotion. He took my advice and he has now improved a lot.’

On court or off court, Liu and Ka Long have a very good relationship. ‘We always dine together and have lots of conversations. Even there is a big age gap between us, we can talk about everything; I am his coach and also a friend. Ka Long has my character, very quiet, has high demand on himself.’Said Coach Liu.

From Men’s Doubles to Singles, Ka Long’s career path is in good hand of Coach Liu, ‘Ka Long is a talented player. I always think he should go for Singles. There was a time he was very depressed and even thought of quitting. He always compared himself with other players as he couldn’t make any progress. I encouraged him that it takes more time to get result s in Singles and he listened. This year he finally has a fruitful result in Hong Kong Open as I expected. It’s accumulated by all his hard work from the past.’

Although Ka Long has good results, Coach Liu pointed out that he still need to improve his skills in speed, attack and defense. Liu has high expectation on his favorite player and hope that one day both they can strive together to achieve the Olympics and World Championship medals.