Chinese superstar ZHANG Jike has withdrawn from the Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals with an ankle injury.
The injury is the same one that forced the world number four to pull out from the recent Austrian and Swedish ITTF World Tour events last month.
The news has left the London 2012 Olympic Champion’s 7.6 million weibo fans devastated, as they were looking forward to seeing their hero in action for the first time since September’s China Open.
The reports coming out of China state that the injury occurredwhen the double World Champion was filming for a reality show where he was eventually chased after by his fans who couldn’t contain their excitement upon seeing him. This caused ZHANG to sprain his ankle and was not able to recoverin time for the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals.
The injury means that the Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medalist will have to wait another 12 months for the chance to win the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals title, the one major table tennis title eluding him in his decorated career.
Japan’s Koki NIWA is the the lucky player who now takes ZHANG Jike’s place at the Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals which will take place 8-11 December in Doha, Qatar.