During the Olympics in Rio in 2016, over 300 million Chinese people tuned in to watch the singles final between Zhang Jike and Ma Long, which was won by the latter. During every Olympics, China often sweeps the floor with their opponents, as can be seen from the fact that China have picked up 32 golds in total, with South Korea sitting in second place with 3 golds. So, what has led to China’s table tennis domination? Well, this is what we are going to have a closer look at in this article.
The Popularity of Table Tennis in China
When it comes to Chinese table tennis, there are more than 85 million people who play this game every day at their local table tennis club. If you are into your quirky statistics, then you are going to love this one – for every table tennis table there are seven Chinese people. We could not bother ourselves to do the math, but we can assure you that this is an awful lot of tables.
Table tennis has been a national sport in the People’s Republic of China ever since Mao Zedong, a former President, declared it so back in 1949. He announced it as such as he believed that Chinese table tennis was something that could help bring people together and help the country bond with the rest of the world. Although, we are not sure how kicking everyone’s’ butts is a good way to connect with people.
There are plenty of the best table tennis betting sites out there that fans of the sport can sign up with in order to place some wagers, and if there is one solid tip that we can give you, it is that it is probably a wise move to bet on a Chinese player to win the competition that you are betting on.
Five Reasons Why the Chinese Dominate the Table Tennis Scene
Below we are going to provide you with five reasons that have led to China’s table tennis domination over the decades. It would be good if other countries could catch up with Chinese table tennis so that their players can have a bit of competition other than against their compatriots, but we really do not see China’s domination coming to an end any time soon. They are just too dedicated and too good.
The World’s Best Coaches
There is no doubt that Chinese table tennis has the world’s best coaches. Not only are they good when it comes to table tennis techniques, but they are also good at strategy, tactics, style development, and man managing. When you are being trained and tutored by the best coaches in the world, then it really does stand to reason that you are going to turn into one of the best table tennis players out there.
Two of the best table tennis coaches in China are Kong Linghui and Liu Guoliang. The latter has won everything there is to win in the sport, and he is considered by many to be one of the best players to ever grace the game. Consider him the Lionel Messi, Pele, or Cristiano Ronaldo of the table tennis world. If you cannot be inspired to achieve greatness when being coached by such a person, then table tennis is not for you.
A Top Training System
Training is something that can turn a good player into one of the best, and Chinese table tennis has one of the best training systems in the world. It is divided into three levels as follows:
Club level: Used to find young and talented players.
Provincial level: Forms a young professional team of youngsters that can compete in the world’s top 100-300.
National level: To enter the national team, you need to be one of the best 50 players in the world.
Here is another quirky fact for you – at the 2016 Olympics, 44 of the table tennis players were born in China, but only 6 of them were representing their country of birth. These players are very good but are not quite good enough to play for China, which just highlights further the quality that China possesses when it comes to table tennis. To make it into the Chinese table tennis team and stay there, players must train at least 10 hours each day.
High Detailed Techniques
Back in 2018, the USA table tennis team got the rare opportunity to train with the Chinese team for a month, and the fact that the Chinese players paid close attention to every minute detail was something that impressed the American players a lot. If there is a tiny flaw in a Chinese player’s technique, then he will continuously work on it until that flaw is removed from his game. American and European players do not seem to have the same attention to small detail, and in a professional sport a small technical flaw could be the difference between winning and losing a match.
Special Closed Training
Why is it that Chinese players always win important events such as the World Championship, Olympics, and the World Cup? They sometimes lose at smaller events such as the Platinum ITTF or the Pro Toru, but they have a high winning percentage at all of the important events, and this is because of closed training.
Before one of the big events, Team China will always hold a closed training event that often starts two months before the competition. At this closed training, no journalists or foreign players are allowed and at the end of the closed training, the head coach will choose his main team. This is a pressure situation for the players because they know that if their form is not up to scratch, then they can be dropped from the team. During this closed training period, they are provided with tips on how to improve their performances and deal with fierce opponents.
The Use of Blue Partners
Blue partners are basically the best provincial players that are used to train for specific objectives. They are asked to train with the best players and help them to deal with specific styles. For instance, Hao Shuai is tasked with imitating the playing style of Timo Boll, the best German player of all time. He is not good enough to get into China’s A team, but he plays an important role. On the other hand, Ryu Seung-min, from South Korea, was one of the most dangerous players to China’s domination at his peak, so Wang Jian Jun was asked to imitate his playing style.