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Matt Hetherington
09-21-2011, 06:31 PM
See the original content here http://matthetherington.blogspot.com/2011/09/table-tennis-great-fighter-jean-michel.html

Table Tennis' Great Fighter: Jean Michel Saive
I had the amazing opportunity to interview one of the most iconic legends in the sport. Jean Michel Saive is a true hero of the sport, he has an undying passion for table tennis and is renowned for his die hard persistance with the sport as an internationally successful player. Thank you so much Jean Mi for a great interview, it was an honour for you to do this for me.

Full Name: Jean Michel Saive
Age: 41
Date Of Birth: 17/11/1969
Nation represented: Belgium
Highest World Ranking: 1

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_0o_0nAvid38/ScCqFHIOVOI/AAAAAAAAABM/yKLjd9I2ibo/s320/jean-michel-saive.jpg
Jean Michel Saive in action

Equipment Used?
Blade: Stiga Clipper
FH Rubber: calibra lt 2,0
BH Rubber: calibra lt 2,0


YourCareer

How long have you been playing table tennis for, when and how did you start?
33 years, I started my first tournament 18/I0/78. I started together with my brother, our parents were both players , my father no.10 in Belgium and my mother was Belgian champion in dubbel B category when she was pregnant with me so my Ist title is a womens one haha

Who has been the biggest influence on your career so far?
My parents then my first coach M.Durello,then Milan Stencel, then M.Wang Dayong

What has been the highlight ofyour table tennis career so far?
Being ranked Number 1 in the World for 15 months in a row

What's does your training schedule for a week period involve?
This is too long to answer, this is for a book. Just say that today I must practise maybe less on time then before but now I never stop even on holliday I have to be clever and listen my body.

You love table tennis and never give up on aspiring to be the best, what is your next
big goal for table tennis?
My next goal is to be in London and perform well there. Sometimes I can not believe that I will participate for the 7th time at Olympic Games.

Lobbing has a special place in your game and you are profoundly good at it. What makes you lob so much in matches, do you prefer this to attacking sometimes?
This is strange because I should stay at the table and not go back but sometimes I am behind and fighting for the points .... maybe I played too many exhibitions in my career (haha) .... but Ilove fighting for these big points as well.

What do you think is the most important thing in table tennis for becoming a successful player on the international stage?
Hard,hard,hard,hard practise .... and think table tennis all time, but most important is to enjoy all this.

http://www.lameuse.be/zc/thumb300x200/mediastore/_2011/janvier/hermes/ID5873452_saive_233307_H2W4D0_0.JPG.jpg
Jean Mi serving up a storm
Image Courtesy of LaMeuse.be


How did you grow playing table tennis in Belgium? Was the table tennis strong there or did you train and play in other places too?
When I was 13years old I was already no.4 in Belgium and played in national team, then I went to play in Germany for 3 years then France 3 years then back to Belgium ..... yes I practised in many other places(Germany,France,Sweden,China,Korea ... etc)

How do you feel table tennis has changed around the world since your era at the peak of your game? Do you think it has improved or declined?
Yes it has changed,more and more competions in Asia especially in China .... TT is not growing up in Europe .... and unfortunately not enough TT in USA.

What do you think makes the Chinese so good at table tennis?
Simple, this is national sport in the biggest country in the World (number population)

What does Europe and the rest of the World need to do to raise its standard in order to compete with the Chinese players of this generation?
Back to the future for Waldner,Persson,Gatien,Rosskopf,Primorac,Saive .... haha. Seriously hard practise or find a better way of practise.

Is there an event you haven't won yet which you have been trying to win for yourwhole career?
Olympic Games

What motivates you to carry on competing at a high international standard?
I love to play,fight and practise

If you could go back and change anything in your table tennis career, is there anything you would choose to change?
Of course I am sad I do not have Olympic Medal but this is,was my way my career ... so no regret .... I am so how lucky and can be proud of my career


Off the Topic Questions

Who's your favourite sportsperson of all time?
So many!!! Mercks,Borg,Woods,Noah,Lemond,Lewis,Becker ....

Favourite food?
Mwambe(my motherwas born in Congo)

What do you do when you aren't playing table tennis?
I try to play golf when I have free time ... but I also help the TT Federation,I am in executive board in Belgium Olympic Committee, Member of
European Athlete Olympic Commission, same for the Belgium Athletes and ITTF Athletes Commission. So I am very busy.

Dream Car?
Ferrari

Ideal holiday destination?
Somewhere with Sun, Sea and Golf

First thing you would do if you won $1million?
To secure my kids


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlOjncqDOjc&feature=player_embedded
Great rally between Saive and Samsonov in 2005

Your Team Mates:
Phillipe Saive, Bratanov, Cabrera, Podpinka, Sonnet in national team(not all but the best) in club:Samsonov, Primorac, Smirnov, Chila, Appelgren, Chen Z Hibin, Wosik, Fejer, Huang, Korbel, Gacina, Li ching, Oh sang eun, Wang jianjun, Kou lei, Phillipe Saive, Cabrera, Podpinka, Haldan, Pistej, Mitamura and many others

Who's the funniest player in the training hall?
Mitamura for the best copy

Who trains the hardest in the training hall?
Rosskopf, Primorac, Legout

And Lastly

Would you like to add one last tip, or an inspirational message for other table tennis players looking to succeed?
Just Enjoy TT

azlan
09-21-2011, 07:04 PM
Would you like to add one last tip, or an inspirational message for other table tennis players looking to succeed?
Just Enjoy TT

My sentiments exactly. Btw Matt, this is the best interview. My favourite european player, aside from Rosskopf. This guy has been playing competitively for 33years!! Incredible!! I started playing competitively when I was 12, my first tourney in 1981,that means I've been playing for 30 years..didn't realize it has been that long.


What's does your training schedule for a week period involve?
This is too long to answer, this is for a book. Just say that today I must practise maybe less on time then before but now I never stop even on holliday I have to be clever and listen my body.

Love it when he said that he has to listen to his body. Sometimes I trained too much, my heart says "yeah go for it", but my body says "you gotta be kidding mate". Took me days to recover, which used to take me a good night sleep..20years ago. Very sound advice there. Wish I'm in shape like he is now...hahahaha

WiWa
09-21-2011, 07:13 PM
'My first title was a women's title.' Haha! Great interview!

YosuaYosan
09-21-2011, 09:22 PM
This interview is just legendary !

exit_2
09-21-2011, 11:05 PM
Nice interview... but they always answer very quick... maybe somebody will explain more how to train and some more...

I found one error: Player Pijtej I think is Lubomir Pistej (or Pištej)

Matt Hetherington
09-21-2011, 11:36 PM
Thanks for picking that up. Most of the players are out there training, they don't have much time to do interviews, especially for someone insignificant like myself so it is difficult to get the kind of responses you would like to get.

ttmonster
09-22-2011, 01:51 AM
Great work Matt!! This is really wonderful ...

Matt Hetherington
09-23-2011, 04:45 AM
Thanks ttmonster. Yes I think it is one of the better interviews to date he certainly gave some depth to his answers, the best part was he returned the interview qns after just 3 hours! amazing effort :)

ttmonster
09-23-2011, 05:30 AM
Ya I thought so too ... I guess even among the top players here is somebody who loves the sport than more than anybody ... its bitter sweet when he says that he would secure his kids future if he gets a million dollar .. thats the irony of this sport ......


Thanks ttmonster. Yes I think it is one of the better interviews to date he certainly gave some depth to his answers, the best part was he returned the interview qns after just 3 hours! amazing effort :)

Michal_Z
09-23-2011, 08:51 AM
This was really good and funny interview!
Well done Matt!!

Matt Hetherington
09-23-2011, 09:41 AM
haha i thought so i love the first title was a womens one :P great call

Dan
09-23-2011, 04:24 PM
Love it when he said that he has to listen to his body. Sometimes I trained too much, my heart says "yeah go for it", but my body says "you gotta be kidding mate". Took me days to recover, which used to take me a good night sleep..20years ago. Very sound advice there. Wish I'm in shape like he is now...hahahaha

Very true Azlan! I wish I did this when I use to practice through my back injury. Now im paying for it ha. Saive, what a legend!

azlan
09-23-2011, 05:52 PM
Exactly Dan,the guy is a walking legend. Sorry about your back buddy, one of the collateral damage when you're a serious TT player, another are the knees. But becoming a great coach will certainly make up to it...hehehe I always believe there are many ways that we can contribute to the development of TT, no matter how small it is. Maybe your calling is to be a great coach one day, but at the mean time, suck it up and let it rip, and enjoy each tournament like it is your final. hahaha

Dan
09-23-2011, 06:37 PM
Exactly Dan,the guy is a walking legend. Sorry about your back buddy, one of the collateral damage when you're a serious TT player, another are the knees. But becoming a great coach will certainly make up to it...hehehe I always believe there are many ways that we can contribute to the development of TT, no matter how small it is. Maybe your calling is to be a great coach one day, but at the mean time, suck it up and let it rip, and enjoy each tournament like it is your final. hahaha

Hahaha very true i will do that. Hope your tt is going great Azlan. I put your picture in the TableTennisDaily Competition section on the facebook page :-)

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S2 using tapatalk

azlan
09-23-2011, 07:00 PM
CHEERS MATE!!! :) My TT is not as it used to be, but no complains..my days are gone, but funnily enough, I'm enjoying it more now a days as there are no pressure. I enjoy coaching, and surprising some younger players here and there.

ankit
09-24-2011, 10:47 AM
thank u for a suggestion...............

phillypong
05-31-2012, 08:21 PM
thank u for a suggestion...............

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? You are welcome ! ;)

olvarox
05-31-2012, 09:25 PM
Rofl Phillypong! :p

Anyways, Thumbs up for Belgium :D
God, why isn't table tennis more popular in Europe. It's such a freakin' shame, isn't it?

Let's pray to the gods that Jean-Mi does the upset of the century by winning Olympic Gold this summer :p

olvarox
05-31-2012, 09:56 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIzjGKfevTQ

A true Jean-Mi Highlight!

YosuaYosan
06-01-2012, 04:50 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIzjGKfevTQ

A true Jean-Mi Highlight!

Definitely at his best!
Those forehands are monster!

Matt Hetherington
06-01-2012, 05:25 PM
He stills plays amazingly, probably up there with Persson as the best from that era still currently playing, especially now that Petr Korbel is sitting in 100th on the WR > . <

Scorpnox
06-01-2012, 07:02 PM
SO proud to be Belgian :)!!!
He is just a legend!

judah000
06-02-2012, 08:54 AM
awesome... Jean has a great sense of humor :p

UpSideDownCarl
03-08-2013, 02:33 PM
Bump........