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PostPosted: 09 Apr 2014, 03:07 
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Mr. Takashima visited Atlanta as a sports commentator during the 1996 Olympics. I was lucky and got his autograph. There are a couple of very good videos of him from Butterfly made in the early 1980s were he teaches chopping (and at the end of the video there is a match against Gergely). The other video is on attacking a chopper with world champions Itoh and Hasegawa. The videos were originally made in Beta so the quality was very good.

CHEERS!

P.S. I forgot to mention he won the 1978 U.S. Open beating Danny Seemiller in the final.

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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2014, 03:40 
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I want to mention that I plan to organize and then send our questions to Norio Takashima on either Sunday or Monday (hopefully). So, if there are more questions, I would appreciate if they could be send to me prior to Sunday evening in the eastern US.

Thanks,

Steven

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PostPosted: 16 May 2014, 02:05 
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Any news about takashima interview???

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PostPosted: 17 May 2014, 02:24 
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manofan wrote:
Any news about takashima interview???


manofan,

I sent the questions to Norio Takashima on April 18. Because we had a lot of questions for him, I suggested that he take his time in answering them. I also told him that it isn't necessary to answer every question. I have also contacted him about his photographs. I assumed that he wouldn't be too quick in responding, since it has to challenging to answer so many questions in English.

Steven

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PostPosted: 20 May 2014, 09:32 
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zzzuppp wrote:
Steven, you're in luck!! It's here-



The Takashima-Li section is at c. 21' (but the whole film is worth watching!). This is part 3 of the 10-part 'History of Chinese TT', which used to be available on a 10-DVD set. I'm lucky enough to own one.

(And, NB, it didn't give China the World title of course! only a step nearer, but Sweden would win it. )


I noticed that Takashima can be seen playing again at about 1:03:30. Also, at 56:00, one can see Chung Hyun-Sook from South Korea. She was my favorite female table tennis player of the 1970s. I think that it is fair to say that she was also the best female defensive player of that time period.

Steven

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PostPosted: 21 May 2014, 08:00 
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zzzuppp wrote:
Steven, you're in luck!! It's here-



The Takashima-Li section is at c. 21' (but the whole film is worth watching!). This is part 3 of the 10-part 'History of Chinese TT', which used to be available on a 10-DVD set. I'm lucky enough to own one.

(And, NB, it didn't give China the World title of course! only a step nearer, but Sweden would win it. )


Any chance there is any footage of the Magic Chopper from China in any of those videos? I remember him from the Memphis stop on the Ping Pong Diplomacy tour by the Chinese in 1972. I don't think he played against any Americans, but only in exhibition with a teammate. He was spectacular--chopping penhold with hard rubber! Seemed like his defense was impenetrable. His partner would move him back and forth and side to side, and he seemed to float effortlessly into perfect position each time. Of all the players I saw that day, he's the one I remember the most. I'm not sure what his name was , but I do remember the Magic Chopper nickname he'd been tagged with. I'd love to see some footage of him playing if it is available. Very few players I've met have ever even heard of that player.

Larry


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PostPosted: 21 May 2014, 08:47 
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Here you go...

Zhang Xielin - the Magic Chopper



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PostPosted: 21 May 2014, 09:46 
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PostPosted: 21 May 2014, 10:57 
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larrythoman wrote:
zzzuppp wrote:
Steven, you're in luck!! It's here-



The Takashima-Li section is at c. 21' (but the whole film is worth watching!). This is part 3 of the 10-part 'History of Chinese TT', which used to be available on a 10-DVD set. I'm lucky enough to own one.

(And, NB, it didn't give China the World title of course! only a step nearer, but Sweden would win it. )


Any chance there is any footage of the Magic Chopper from China in any of those videos? I remember him from the Memphis stop on the Ping Pong Diplomacy tour by the Chinese in 1972. I don't think he played against any Americans, but only in exhibition with a teammate. He was spectacular--chopping penhold with hard rubber! Seemed like his defense was impenetrable. His partner would move him back and forth and side to side, and he seemed to float effortlessly into perfect position each time. Of all the players I saw that day, he's the one I remember the most. I'm not sure what his name was , but I do remember the Magic Chopper nickname he'd been tagged with. I'd love to see some footage of him playing if it is available. Very few players I've met have ever even heard of that player.

Larry


I had a very memorable experience with the Magic Chopper back in 1972. I was playing in the finals of the Canadian junior championships in Montreal. The Chinese team started their Canadian tour in Ottawa and then came to Montreal. The first part of their visit in Montreal was to watch the finals of Canadian junior championships. Seated on the other side of the barrier from the table were Zhang Xielin, Zhuang Zedong, Li Fujung, and Liang Keliang. For me, the motivation was incredible. I not only wanted to win the national junior championship, but I wanted to show these four legends that I can play well. I did indeed win the match 3-1. Afterwards, Zhang Xielin came up to me, and we had a very nice conversation through an interpreter. He complimented my defense, and he told me that he was considering whether to switch using antispin. He showed me his racket, but I no longer remember what it looked like.

A few days later, in my home city of Toronto, I saw the Chinese team in an exhibition. larrythoman gave a wonderful description of what it was like to watch Zhang Xielin playing defense. The term Magic Chopper is indeed a perfect description of this great defensive player.

Steven

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PostPosted: 21 May 2014, 12:19 
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Great story birding!


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PostPosted: 21 May 2014, 22:31 
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carbonman wrote:
Great story birding!


During my match, I glanced over at the famous players on the Chinese team several times. I was curious to see if any of them were sleeping (they had left China about two days earlier, so they would have had to deal with jet lag), bored, reading a newspaper etc., but they were all politely watching my match. That made me feel good too.

A couple of years ago I read that Zhang Xielin was one of the persons carrying the Olympic flag in the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics. I think that I recognized him, even though he has a full head of white hair.

Steven

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PostPosted: 21 May 2014, 23:01 
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birding&table.tennis wrote:
carbonman wrote:
Great story birding!


During my match, I glanced over at the famous players on the Chinese team several times. I was curious to see if any of them were sleeping (they had left China about two days earlier, so they would have had to deal with jet lag), bored, reading a newspaper etc., but they were all politely watching my match. That made me feel good too.

A couple of years ago I read that Zhang Xielin was one of the persons carrying the Olympic flag in the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics. I think that I recognized him, even though he has a full head of white hair.

Steven


Steven, thanks so much for posting that video and the personal stories of your encounters with him. That matches my own memories of him. I only saw him that one time, but here it is 40+ years later and I still remember that grace he displayed in his movements--a very lasting impression he made on me (from 100 yards away no less)! Since then, I've never seen a video or mention of him again. I wonder why China didn't develop more penhold choppers like him. He seemed to be the last of his kind. I can't think of any other world class player after him who chopped penhold.

After seeing him again, my thought is that he was the Chinese Muhammed Ali--he floated like a butterfly all over the court returning everything with a soft touch and then all of a sudden, he'd sting like a bee with that backhand jab down the line!

Great stuff. Thanks again.

Larry


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PostPosted: 20 Jun 2014, 07:28 
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Has anyone checked with Mr. Takashima to make sure he did not forget... ;)

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PostPosted: 23 Jun 2014, 06:36 
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gnopgnipster wrote:
Has anyone checked with Mr. Takashima to make sure he did not forget... ;)


gnopgnipster,

I am sorry for being slow in answer your question. I have been traveling for the past week.

I sent a "gentle" reminder email to Norio Takashima today, just after the Muramatsu/Mizutani match ended. Hopefully we will receive answers to our questions sometime soon.

Steven

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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2014, 11:07 
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Just noticed this thread. I'm in the process of restoring a U-Matic tape of the broadcast of the Takashima-Seemiller US Open final. The quality is excellent, the commentary by Jack Howard insightful but unabashedly biased (rooting for Danny), and the points are fabulous.

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