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Table Tennis News and Reviews » Blog Archive » China table Tennis - Eye of the Wounded Tiger

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  • 22Jun

    Beware the wounded tiger and according to the Chinese Zodiac, the year 2010 is the Year of the Tiger.

    It commenced on Sunday 14th February and concludes on Wednesday 2nd February 2011.

    Some three months into that year on Sunday 30th May, the tiger was wounded; legend says that when the tiger is wounded it is at its most dangerous, more determined than ever.

    The wounded tiger is China, the Chinese Women’s Team beaten in the final of the Liebherr World Team Championships by Singapore, a title they were odds on to win. Point to be Proved
    Make no mistake it hurt and there is a point to be proved.

    The point is that China is the no.1 nation in the world when it comes to women’s table tennis.

    ITTF Junior Circuit
    At the recent ITTF Junior Circuit Tournaments in Chengdu and Taiyuan, undoubtedly some of China’s most talented players were on duty, many of the best were in action.

    Looking back over recent years, the strength of the Chinese teams at those tournaments was arguably not so powerful.

    The teenagers in action proved a point; the Chinese were imperious, outstanding, ahead of all rivals, sheer class.

    Now their elders have a chance to do the same.

    Never Erase
    They can never wipe out the memory of the defeat in Moscow but they can gain an element of consolation by succeeding at the Volkswagen 2010 China versus World Team Challenge contest to be staged in Shanghai on Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th June 2010.

    Liu Shiwen, Ding Ning and Guo Yan, who played in that fateful final almost one month ago, plus Li Xiaoxia who sat nervously on the bench trying to will her team mates to victory, have been selected.

    Similar Situation
    It is very much a similar situation to September 2004 following the defeat of Wang Hao by Korea’s Ryu Seung Min in the Men’s Singles final at the Athens Olympic Games. At the ITTF Pro Tour tournament one month later in Changchun, the home city of Wang Hao, all the home supporters wanted to see Wang Hao play Ryu Seung Min to prove a point.

    They had played many times before that final, they have played many times since; prior to the Athens duel Ryu Seung Min had only won when they were juniors, since that battle in some 15 encounters Wang Hao has only lost once.

    Still Hurts
    The wins do not soften the pain of the defeat in the most important meeting of all; it is the same for the Chinese women who will face the World Alls Stars quartet of Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, Korea’s Kim Kyung Ah, Japan’s Ai Fukuhara and Romania’s Daniela Dodean.

    Certainly Feng Tianwei having beaten both Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen in the Moscow final will be the focus of attention; she will want to prove that her wins were no “flash in the pan” victories, the Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen are desperate to prove the reverse.

    Justified Inclusion
    In Moscow, Guo Yan, who so often in the past has sat on the bench in the major finals and in Beijing at the 2008 Olympic Games was an enthusiastic spectator, surely justified her inclusion in the Liebherr World Team Championships final; the surprise was the non inclusion of Guo Yue.

    Equally, Guo Yue is not included in the Volkswagen 2010 China versus World Team Challenge.

    Changes
    Meanwhile, the originally named Feng Yalan, winner of the Women’s Singles event at the German Open in March this year, and Wu Yang, the reigning World Junior Champion, both originally named, have been replaced by those bent on revenge.

    In Shanghai it will be a test for Ding Ning who celebrated her 20th birthday on Sunday 20th June as it will be for Liu Shiwen who is only 19 year old; brave faces may comment that the major goal is the 2012 Olympic Games and that both Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen are young.

    However there is no avoiding the pain.

    Chinese players tend to reach world level at a much younger age than players from other countries and a word of warning for the rest of the world.

    Nine Lives
    At the World Championships in Chiba in 1991, China suffered defeat in the final of the Women’s Team event; they were beaten by the joint Korean Team. They had won on the previous eight occasions.

    In Moscow at the Liebherr World Championships China had won on the previous eight occasions, the tiger, the biggest member of the cat family had used up its “nine lives”.

    Return Stronger
    Looking back to 1991 one person, fiercely patriotic, was wounded by the defeat in the Women’s Team event, it hurt, it really hurt and it made her more determined than ever to succeed.

    She did, the 18 year old with the aching heart, returned stronger than ever to win her first ever Women’s Singles title at a World Championships.

    The teenager was the player they said was too small to be a champion, the one and only Deng Yaping.

    She was wounded, she came back stronger; now it’s the turn of Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen to follow suit.

    Source: ittf.com

    Posted by ttfan @ 11:23 am

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