Beijing: China's world and Olympic table tennis champion Zhang Jike may face further action after being stripped of USD 45,000 in prize money for damaging advertising hoardings during over enthusiastic victory celebrations at a tournament in Germany.
Reigning singles world champion Jike kicked an advertising hoarding next to the court, breaking it, after beating fellow Chinese player Ma Long in the Liebherr Men's World Cup final in Dusseldorf on Sunday.
He than ran to the opposite side of the arena and shattered a second advertising board with a flying kick, before stripping off his shirt and throwing it into the crowd, Hong Kong based South China Morning Post reported today.
Zhang fought back from three games down to overcome Olympic teammate Ma in a seven-game match, handing Ma his first defeat this year.
While the International Table Tennis Federation described the match as being "of the highest quality", it was less impressed by Zhang's celebration, deciding to withhold his US$45,000 prize money as punishment for the display.
"I am very sorry for what I did," Zhang said following the ITTF's decision.
"It was not acceptable behaviour and I am sorry," the Post quoted him as saying.
Liu Guoliang, head coach of the Chinese men's table tennis team, said he was shocked and shamed by Zhang's actions.
"No matter what his reason was, it was the wrong thing to do," Liu told Chinese media.
"As head coach, I apologise on behalf of the association to all spectators, sponsors and fans," he said.
A spokesman for the Chinese Table Tennis Association told the Post that it will decide if further punishment is necessary after the national team returns from Germany later this week.