Ex-Chinese men’s singles player Du, once world No.3, has been with the Hong Kong national team since 2019 and worked closely with Ng to shape his gameplay and on-court finesse.
“He was a top class player and helps me a lot not only on the technical side but also how to prepare for a major tournament and recovery,” Ng told South China Morning Post of the benefits of being under the tutelage of the 2013 Asian champion and World Championships bronze medallist.
“He shared with me his experiences and also that of other top Chinese players of his era such as Lin Dan. I’ve become more stable and have showed marked improvement with his advice.”
At Rio 2016, first-timer Ng gained valuable experience despite exiting in the last 16 after a straight games loss to Son Wanho. In Japan, eighth seed Ng, who is in Group C alongside Guatemalan Kevin Cordon and Mexican Lino Munoz, has set himself a quarterfinal spot as the minimum target.
“In Rio, everything was new to me and a bonus as a debutant. I felt very excited under such a tense atmosphere and as a young player learned as much as possible,” said the 27-year-old world No.9.
“Now five years have gone and I’ve become more mature. I’ve played a lot more tournaments and made the world’s top 10. My seeding has guaranteed I won’t meet a player ranked higher in the group stage. I expect to reach the quarterfinals and then we’ll see what happens.
“Tokyo will be my biggest chance at the Olympics. I must make the most of my golden age to perform.”