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Table Tennis News and Reviews » Blog Archive » The Mind Boggles and Wen Jia Bewilders at Chinese National Championships

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  • 26Nov

    The toughest tournament in the world and there is only one country involved; that is the belief of many regarding the Chinese National Championships that are currently being staged in Zhang Jiagang, a city of one million people in Jiangsu Province, 100 kilometres west of Shanghai 

    It a city is renowned for its cleanliness and is regarded as being one of the most well kept towns in the country; a far cry from a sprawling metropolis, so much a feature of modern day urban life. Competition is intense, the Women’s Singles title has been decided and one player has caught the eye.

    On Duty in Palo Alto
    The name is Wen Jia, and she has certainly caught the eye of Steve Dainton, the Director of the ITTF Asia/Pacific Office in Beijing.

    "Those of you in Palo Alto may remember her, a brilliant left hand shakehands grip attacker from both wings; last year at the World Junior Championship she was beaten in the final of the Girls’ Singles event by compatriot Yang Yang", said Dainton. "However, last night she was crowned Chinese National Champion; listed at no. 90 on the current World Ranking list, I get the feeling starting from next year we will see more from this highly talented 19 year old."

    Chilling Thought
    He is undoubtedly correct and it is a chilling thought for the rest of the table tennis world when you consider she won with only Zhang Yining of the very elite being absent.

    "In two gruelling matches she defeated other relatively young talents Liu Shiwen and Cau Zhen", continued Dainton. "Guo Yue, LI Xiaoxia and Guo Yan were all in action; Guo Yan was the only one of the trio to reach the semi-finals, eventually losing to Cao Zhen."

    Pedigree Endorsed
    It makes you gulp for breath and Steve Dainton endorsed the widely held view about the pedigree of the tournament.

    "They say it’s the toughest event in the World to become champion", he said. "When you see Li Xiaoxia, the current Women’s World no.1 really struggling to win her second round match and the rising stars in the Men’s Singles competing on equal terms against the Men’s Chinese National Team, including some as young as twelve years old, well then you know that comment is not far off the mark!"

    The Mind Boggles
    Over 290 players are present players from the various clubs throughout the country.

    "It is a tournament for the best of the best", said Dainton. "They are all here; it truly is a mind boggling event."

    Prove Worth
    Furthermore, for those in the national team they must show that they deserve that status.

    "Those in the National Team, while they are very tired from a gruelling year must still show that they deserve their position; meanwhile, there are more than 100 others who want to take their place", continued Dainton. "It’s kind of mind boggling walking into the stadium which is tightly packed with 16 tables and one show court so the national broadcaster CCTV can go live; you are watching 290 players who could quite easily represent almost any other nation but most of who will never get a chance to participate in an international event."

    It is surely a sporting spectacle of sporting spectacles.

    Good Question
    "It’s my first time to ever visit the National Championships and it truly is a sight to see but there is a question that I can’t seem to get off my mind", continued Dainton. "If China is so dominant and has been for so long why do I not see any foreign coaches here?"

    A very good question and one which I must concur; if China is so strong why do other countries try alternative system and not just adapt the one that works?

    Surprised
    "Being so advanced in all areas of the game it kind of surprises me that there are not at least a few here to see who will be the next generation of Chinese Stars and learning what weapons they will need to defeat them", said Steve Dainton. "It is the perfect opportunity to see what they are up against in the future with almost all the rising stars in action and the top officials here to see their next potential International stars."

    The only trouble is the solution to finding those weapons might be harder than looking for a needle in a haystack.

    Names for the Future
    "Nevertheless, it’s eight days of wall to wall and back to back action; some new stars have once again emerged and whom we will all surely see over a period of time", concluded Dainton. "In the women don’t be surprised to see the name Wen Jia in the near future; the Men’s Singles follows and features Wang Hao, Wang Liqin, Ma Long but no Ma Lin; he was defeated by the up and coming Jiang Jike.

    The Olympic champion but at the Chinese National Championships he is just another player; in Zhang Jiagang reputations count for naught.

    Source: www.ittf.com

    Posted by ttfan @ 10:55 am

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