It is a good thing table tennis star Zhang Jike did not spend his $45,000 purse after winning the World Cup on Sunday in Germany because it was gone from him before it even arrived.
Jike, from China, was fined all $45,000 of his prize money for kicking his leg in celebration of defeating the top seed, and fellow Chinese teammate, Ma Long, Sunday.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) described the match on its website as, “one of the most dramatic finals ever witnessed since the tournament was first staged in 1980.”
Jike’s celebratory kick after the marathon match plowed through two advertising boards at the ISS Dome in Dusseldorf, Germany, where the Libherr Men’s World Cup championship was held.
The ITTF described Jike’s kick as a “spur of the moment reaction,” but decided to withhold his prize money still.
“I am very sorry for what I did, Jike said in a statement to the ITTF. “It was not acceptable behavior and I am sorry."
“This was a perfect victory, I have been under a great deal of pressure, with people questioning my form”, he added. “I am now very satisfied and very relieved, I would like to congratulate Ma Long on an amazing final; we really put on a table tennis exhibition.“