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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2014, 09:11 
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http://sports.yahoo.com/news/table-tenn ... --spt.html

China's table tennis federation should give foreign players more access to its coaches to ease the country's stranglehold on the sport and attract more television and sponsor interest, the head of the world governing body said.

In the men's game, Chinese players have won seven of the past eight biennial world championships, while China's women have claimed the last 10 titles.

"It reminds me of 20 years ago when the U.S. was dominating basketball - they (the U.S.) were able to promote the sport elsewhere and bring the top players from other countries to the NBA," said Adham Sharara, president of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

"Today, the U.S. is still very strong but doesn't dominate like how China dominates our sport."

The Canadian said lesser Chinese preeminence would help attract greater sponsorship and television coverage of table tennis, which has been an Olympic sport since 1988.

Globally, there are 217 national federations, second only to volleyball, but the prize money on offer is a pittance compared with many sports.

The World Tour Grand Finals in Dubai this weekend - table tennis's richest event - had a total cash pot of $878,000 for the men's and women's singles and doubles tournaments. Novak Djokovic, the world number two in men's tennis, earned $1.92 million for winning December's ATP World Tour Finals.

"Even in China itself, the general public is getting tired of seeing China winning all the time," said Sharara.

"We need more co-operation from the Chinese. They're opening the door but ever so slowly. They need to sacrifice to make the others better, even to lose to the others, so the sport becomes more and more interesting.

"I say help us for just five years and then you can go back and close the doors."

Sharara said this help would mainly consist of allowing young players from other countries to train with China's elite players, not just provincial teams, plus access to China's equipment technology, which is superior. The top five men and top four women in the world rankings are all Chinese.

Men's number one Ma Long told Reuters he would welcome foreign players to practise with him.

"Chinese players dominate, so maybe the prize money is a bit low for the other players," said Ma.

He spoke through an interpreter and the lack of foreign language skills among China's players has also made promoting the game more difficult.

"I'm trying to convince the Chinese federation that their top players must speak English, so now they're giving them English courses," said Sharara. "This generation is a little bit too shy, but the next generation, the younger ones, are speaking English already."

This would help sell the sport to broadcasters, he said.

"Also in terms of personality - in China they're seen as different individual personalities. There's the naughty guy, the nice guy, the good-looking guy, but outside China they're all considered the same, just the Chinese team because they don't communicate enough," said Sharara.

Eighteen nations were represented in Dubai, but the men's and women's finals were all-Chinese affairs and foreign players seem resigned to their fate.

"We Europeans have a tough job because it's almost impossible to beat all the Chinese," said Natalia Partyka, 24, a three-times Paralympics champion who also plays in able-bodied competition.

"I think the next 10 or 20 years will be the same, still the Chinese will win everything," the Pole added.

Table tennis also faces a new rival, with Britain's Matchroom Sport staging the $100,000 World Championship of Ping Pong in London earlier this month, in which players use old-fashioned sandpaper bats.

These do not allow players to generate the spin associated with top-level table tennis, which the organisers claim is a virtue.

"Table tennis is not really watchable and I'm not sure the people who run it realise that, whereas ping pong most certainly is," said Luke Riches, Matchroom Sport media director.

"Table tennis is a huge sport played around the world with a governing body. We're not trying to compete with that, we're just trying to provide something entertaining." (Reporting by Matt Smith in Dubai; editing by Justin Palmer)

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2014, 10:22 
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Interesting article!

How is Chinese equipment technology superior? Anyone know what he's referring to?

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2014, 13:45 
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haggisv wrote:
Interesting article!

How is Chinese equipment technology superior? Anyone know what he's referring to?


i think he is refferring to rubbers which is hard to get outside China..even it is there, still it's a problem to get regular supply..

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2014, 14:14 
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One of the areas that I normally do not comment on is politics, simply because I do not know enough and two because the other aspects of the sport take precedence and are more compelling...

If I understand the article correctly, AS is trying to make the game more appealing by having everyone play in a specific kind of way,or rather playing style, and at a nations expense...well, that sounds pretty nice of him indeed.

I just can't keep this crazy wild and entertaining idea out of my mind, that what would give me kicks is to see some smuck like myself, some ordinary club mortal, get selected after a pro match to play a game with one of the stars that they seen that seen that night, and take a few points off of them with some frictionless juiced up anti or long pips equipment to the cheers of the crowd... I think this type of thing happens in the chinese super league and I also think that these dominating yet uninteresting chinese players have an inclusive policy (could be wrong here)about bringing any kind of equipment to the table....their so good that they figure out a way to deal with it, but at least they are inclusive about technology and most importantly they are inclusive about other playing styles (although I don't think they want Wu Yang to be a number one player conspiracy is quite legitimate although I'm not sure why)...

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Last edited by timeout on 13 Jan 2014, 14:18, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2014, 14:17 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
"We need more co-operation from the Chinese. They're opening the door but ever so slowly. They need to sacrifice to make the others better, even to lose to the others, so the sport becomes more and more interesting."


I'm sure as heck tired of seeing China win as well, but not so much that I'd like to see staged events. Unless I'm misunderstanding what he's saying there.

Some of it is technology, but the lion's share is the fact that China can cherry-pick the best potential players from the time they are babes and drill ping pong into their subconscious. In other countries, you simply don't have the number of people playing, the investment, or an opportunity for potential top players to make it a full-time job.

For example, I was happy to see Eugene Wang of Canada take two games from Fan Zhendong and thought that was pretty exceptional, but I can't help but think that Eugene will eventually finish college, settle down with a job, and ultimately fall behind or out of the picture entirely. Same is true for most potential talent in the sport.

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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2014, 00:42 
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The only way the rest of the world would be able to catch up with the Chinese players is if the Chinese would lose interest in table tennis. Even if they would let other players come over to train regularly there would still be a huge gap.

Women's competition is a completely lost case, in men's competition we have boll and samsonov who don't have many years left and Ovtcharov who is playing great and can probably still improve a bit. So that's basically 1 players against 100s of Chinese players. I still feel China could easily have at least 90 players in the top 100 if there were allowed to enter so many players.

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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2014, 01:09 
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I hate it when people or organizations try to tame greatness.

If China is raising the bar on the level of play, let them. You want to stop seeing China dominate so much? Get other countries to care more. If this were to happen, perhaps in 15 years or so we could see the gap close.

I can't speak to other countries where I don't know the culture but here in the USA, we have some of the biggest, strongest & fastest athletes around. But table tennis is largely ignored here. Our best athletes play Basketball and Football (American football rather). Not table tennis.

I don't know what it is like for other countries but perhaps if the money was greater or the visibility greater (awareness of the sport), perhaps that'd garner some interest to get more top athletes from around the world to pick up the sport.

Ask yourself... Where your from. Your country's best athletes. Do they play table tennis?... That's the problem. In China, they do.

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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2014, 01:16 
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Agree with suds. In the UK, top athletes play a range of sports... but not table tennis. In fact, in a different thread, it was acknowledged that the area where we're likely to be able to sustain growth of interest and adoption is in the 30-40s age group - ie the parents of the kids who play until their studies / relationships take over. We're not going to get close to China with an army of part time parents.

Is the public tired of seeing China win? I don't think the public give two hoots. They barely acknowledge its existence. They might watch the olympics, and yeah perhaps some people watched a few of the ping pong games, but basically it's not a sport in the public's eye.

Are we, the table tennis enthusiasts, sick of China winning? Not really. I wish there was more variety in playing style at the very top level - I find matches between the top three Chinese players rather uninteresting. I do agree with Adham about needing to see more of the personality of the Chinese players, though.

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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2014, 03:11 
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Even the Chinese are tired of seeing the Chinese dominate?
BS. I have been there and the Chinese take great pride in seeing Chinese win.
The Chinese work for it, they deserve it. :up:


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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2014, 05:20 
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I'm not sick of seeing Chinese win. I'm sick of always seeing loopers win. I want to see other styles have a chance to win. I'll root for Wu Yang any week.

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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2014, 07:27 
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I'm sick of seeing China win. Bring back Friendship play!!


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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2014, 07:49 
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Inappropriate meddling by foreigners.. something China has much experience with.


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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2014, 07:50 
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I am NOT sick of seeing China win. However I play table tennis, so I AM kinda weird.


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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2014, 09:15 
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Good point, Suds. China has more then 1.300.000.000 inhabitants (twice the European population, 4x USA population) and MANY of them play table tennis since it is their national sport and it is practiced in almost all schools. From their early youth, the best talents are spotted and send to good clubs and training schools. It is probably also a cultural thing that they're more disciplined and focused. I don't see this hegemony will be broken in the next decades, but it doesn't really bother me, because I think it is indeed deserved. Changing rules or equipment will not change anything about this situation while I sadly have the impression that this is what ITTF believes...

suds79 wrote:
I hate it when people or organizations try to tame greatness.

If China is raising the bar on the level of play, let them. You want to stop seeing China dominate so much? Get other countries to care more. If this were to happen, perhaps in 15 years or so we could see the gap close.

I can't speak to other countries where I don't know the culture but here in the USA, we have some of the biggest, strongest & fastest athletes around. But table tennis is largely ignored here. Our best athletes play Basketball and Football (American football rather). Not table tennis.

I don't know what it is like for other countries but perhaps if the money was greater or the visibility greater (awareness of the sport), perhaps that'd garner some interest to get more top athletes from around the world to pick up the sport.

Ask yourself... Where your from. Your country's best athletes. Do they play table tennis?... That's the problem. In China, they do.

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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2014, 09:18 
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They deserve to win as emphasized by Hookshot. They put the best athlete, they invested in Table Tennis. I am not tired seeing China win, I am tired seeing our government lack of support for the sport and the division among our leaders. I think promotion of the sport is lacking too.

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