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Why China is the best table tennis country in the world
May 5, 2021, 6:23:00 AM

Why China is the best table tennis country in the world

China has been successful in table tennis. They are the best country in the sport and they’re consistent enough to remain in the top tier of table tennis. Let’s talk about the reasons why they continue to be the best team in the world after all this time.

You might have seen other teams such as Japan and Taiwan make some waves in the table tennis scene recently. However, they have not received the proper accolades that China has gotten over the years. 

When it comes to the players, China has a plethora of superstars. Ma Long is quite possibly the best player of all-time in the men’s game. That is not the only difference with China as their women’s game is also strong with the likes of Chen Meng and Sun Yingsha leading the way for the table tennis powerhouse.

With these players, you can expect that they will be strong in terms of events given that they have so much talent. 

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Table tennis is one of the most famous sports in China

Brazil’s football ranks or the USA’s basketball scene are both solid evidence that focusing on youth works out for the development of players. 

China has a similar system with table tennis as they have the most number of players in the world. It also helps that they have a higher population than most countries but it is safe to say that table tennis is a sport that is highly encouraged by the people in that field. 

Table tennis is such a popular sport in the country. You can see the sport being played all over many centres in their cities. You can always play table tennis at any point in China which is awesome to see. It is evident that players like Ma were honed from that system at an early age, that's why he's one of the best players in the world today. 

Avid table tennis fan Mark Luo talked about how likely it is to have a random person who is a good table tennis player. He wrote, ‘In China, there is a joke, do not say you play table tennis well, because you do not know among your friends, whether there is some guy who is retired from Province team’.

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China’s success was a process

When it comes to China, you can see that their success was due to a process. They have created a system that encourages intense training. Larry Hodges penned a piece where he detailed how much training is such a big part of their success. 

Hodges wrote, ‘China is ruthless in selecting its national team, focusing all its efforts on players likely to medal now or in the future, rather than blindly including all the top players at a given time. Chinese players train for at least 7 hours a day… Chinese teams have extensive strategic analysis about the events around the world and are pioneers in new table techniques’.

It should not be a surprise that China is the best team in the world in table tennis if they keep training at this level. They are unmatched at that level and they will continue to do this for the foreseeable future as they’re always reliable. If you’re interested in table tennis, you should watch some Chinese stars as they have star players who you can model your game around.

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Words: Cholo Martin

Image: PA