Popularly known as a "young marshal," Cai Zhenhua is a dramatic person in Chinese table tennis history.
Cai became an assistant coach at 28, the head coach of the men's national team at 30, and head coach of the national team at 35. Since becoming a coach of the Chinese table tennis team, the Goddess of Good Luck has never been far away from him.
In June 1989, he was officially assigned to coach the Italian national team. In November 1989, he became the coach of the Chinese men's team and then its head coach in June 1991. He led the Chinese team to take the men's doubles gold medal at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, the men's team title at the 42nd World Table Tennis Championships in 1995, and the gold medals in the men's singles and men's doubles at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996.
After Cai took over the post of head coach of the Chinese national team in June 1997, Cai led the team to take part in all major international tournaments with resounding successes: the men's team title at the 44th World Championships in 1997, six titles at the Asian Games in 1998, the first two places at the women's World Cup in 1998, the first two places in four individual events at the ITTF Pro-Tour in 1998, six titles at the 45th World championships in 1999, a clean gold sweep (four events), three silver medals and one bronze at the Sydney Olympic Games, a clean gold sweep (seven events), four silver medals and five bronze medals at the 46th World Championships in 2001, both men's and women's title at the 2002 World Cup, four titles at the 47th World Championships in 2003, the men's World Cup title in 2003, four titles and three second places in the individual events in the year-end finals of the Pro-Tour in 2003, and a clean sweep of the one-two-three at the 8th World Cup in 2003. The Chinese team also took the men's and women's team titles at the Qatar World Championships and three gold medals, one silver medal and three bronze medals at the Athens Olympics in 2004.