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  1. Baal is offline
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    #21
    Start with a billion people and put a coach in about half the elementary schools, guarantee that the best players are national heros, pay them accordingly, and have facilities all over the country that treat kids essentially as professionals starting at age 12. Add a lucrative professional league that is televised nationally. Also a fulltime national team with facilities and coach staffs comparable to a US NFL franchise. Those are a few things that would get you there. With all that you may not need the billion people but it helps.

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    #22
    Yeah, the real thing you might want to reverse engineer is how a little country like Sweden was able to overtake Chinese dominance in the late 1980s and throughout most of the 1990s. It was short lived. In retrospect it was short lived. But for a short time, it turned things upside down to the point that China sent people to Sweden to study why and how Sweden was beating them.

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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    Yeah, the real thing you might want to reverse engineer is how a little country like Sweden was able to overtake Chinese dominance in the late 1980s and throughout most of the 1990s. It was short lived. In retrospect it was short lived. But for a short time, it turned things upside down to the point that China sent people to Sweden to study why and how Sweden was beating them.
    Nah... it was that CRISS CROSS BLOCKING scheme from MyTT that got them back into the driver's seat...

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    #24
    Thanks guys for the input ...But specially those from the US I think you are too focused on this numbers/statistics idea because of the sparsity of players in your areas. I get that. But many of the criteria you mentionned are satisfied in other asian countries (Japan, Korea) and also in Europe. While the number game helps I don't think it is the main factor. UPSIDEDOWNCARL point supports my argument that this is not a numbers thing. NextLevel agrees on the short receive advantage but I believe it is the biggest contributor to the huge difference between CNT and the rest of the world, everything else is already there to a certain degree but still doesn't explain that phenomenal gab of difference (talent, numbers, discpline etc...).

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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Musaab
    Thanks guys for the input ...But specially those from the US I think you are too focused on this numbers/statistics idea because of the sparsity of players in your areas. I get that. But many of the criteria you mentionned are satisfied in other asian countries (Japan, Korea) and also in Europe. While the number game helps I don't think it is the main factor. UPSIDEDOWNCARL point supports my argument that this is not a numbers thing. NextLevel agrees on the short receive advantage but I believe it is the biggest contributor to the huge difference between CNT and the rest of the world, everything else is already there to a certain degree but still doesn't explain that phenomenal gab of difference (talent, numbers, discpline etc...).
    If you think it is mostly the short receive advantage, then why are other countries that are using Chinese rubber not doing as well as the Chinese do? How long should we wait to see the other countries that use Chinese rubber catch up?

    It is a lot of things but the biggest one is the investment into the sport and how they select players through competition at every level. I don't think you appreciate how many good Chinese players are out there. In life there is a general principle usually about pyramid ability, which states that the more people you have at a certain level, the more people you are likely to have at the next level.

    I mean how many Waldners, Bolls, Gatiens etc have the European countries produced? China has many of them. Is it because such players would not be special in China? No it is because China has a lot of players playing table tennis and it is a very deeply studied sport in China. Technique plays a role but so does the number of people playing. Generational players in other countries are common in China because of the numbers. If China stopped having so many people playing table tennis, they would come closer to the rest of the world pretty quickly. It's not rocket science. Because table tennis is part of their national culture it is hard to forsee but it might happen in a few generations.

    Remember China is more populous than Europe. Give that some thought.

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    Last edited by NextLevel; 05-01-2020 at 11:28 AM.
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    #26
    I said this a while back on an other forum but I genuinely believe that table tennis in the Chinese National Team is a strong contender for the human physical activity where we are closest to the theoretical peak performance. At no other time in human history has a group as large as the state of China put this much effort into selecting and training people in any solo physical activity.

    As regards the idea that other countries could catch up if they used similar equipment, I think the part of the reason why some non-CNT players such as Boll, Gauzy and Pitchford occasionally cause problems to CNT players is because of the different styles and equipment.

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  7. Baal is offline
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    #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Musaab
    Thanks guys for the input ...But specially those from the US I think you are too focused on this numbers/statistics idea because of the sparsity of players in your areas. I get that. But many of the criteria you mentionned are satisfied in other asian countries (Japan, Korea) and also in Europe. While the number game helps I don't think it is the main factor. UPSIDEDOWNCARL point supports my argument that this is not a numbers thing. NextLevel agrees on the short receive advantage but I believe it is the biggest contributor to the huge difference between CNT and the rest of the world, everything else is already there to a certain degree but still doesn't explain that phenomenal gab of difference (talent, numbers, discpline etc...).

    I have some personal excperience on this. First a bit of history. Sweden's importance in table tennis didn't begin with Waldner and Persson. It actually dates to the early-mid 60s (or earlier if you include Tage Flissberg). Recall Alser, Johansson, then Bengtsson, also Appelgren then Waldner and Persson, and then it died out. So by the time Waldner and Persson came about, there was a long history of greatness (but only for male players). Sadly, nobody in Sweden now is a threat to win a world championship (and never were for women).

    As a kid my family lived in Sweden in the early 70s and that is where I learned to play
    . There was a school next to our apartment, and there was a coach, and we had a league we could play in against other teams from all over Stockholm. You could see the top players on TV. You could see them in advertisements. The only other sports where Sweden was good was ice hockey and nordic skiing (this was before Bjorn Borg). China in those years was in turmoil, so a lot of the top players in that era were from Japan and eastern Europe, where TT was heavily subsidized by governments, as some of my close friends who played on former Yugoslavian junior national teams before emigrating to the US have described to me. That meant that many of the elements I just described were present, especially in Hungary and Yugoslavia, albeit on a smaller scale than we see in China today, but it didn't matter as much since China was till in the midst and immediate aftermath of their Cultural Revolution. Those elements no longer exist in those places. (Yugloslavia is not even a thing anymore) and those countries no longer produce top players who could conceivably win a world championship; the last one (if one is charitable) maybe Primorac. Put another way, those countries don't care about TT anymore.

    The other thing I would note is that every country occasionally produces a great player. One of my all time favorites (Gatien) is French for example. I studied him a lot and tried as best as I could to copy some of it. Schlager comes to mind. Timo Boll was a threat at least. These days Japan produces the most if you include both men and women. Harimoto will probably do it.

    But to say that any country besides Sweden in the 90s has actually challenged Chinese dominance, especially among male players is simply incorrect -- with the possible exception of Japanese women at the present time (and note if you will that everyone in Japan who knows anything about sports knows who they are). The NUMBER of great players China produces, and the number they have in the pipeline is just beyond amazing. In Germany, where there is a lot of what you need you can produce quite a few players in the world top 30. But have they ever challenged Chinese dominance?

    And of course, everyone may be looking to one single "superpower" that all Chinese players have, but that is impossible because all of their great players are quite different from each other. There is no way to say for example that Xu Xin and FZD play anything alike. And any suggestion that it is Hurricane that makes the difference just makes me laugh.

    What they all have in common though is the level of competition they have had to overcome at every stage of their playing careers, starting in childhood, and the opportunites they have to devote 100% of the days and nights to the sport. So yes, that means they all have great return of serve, and great footwork, etc. etc. but they accomplish it in somewhat different ways.

    So yes, it is very much a numbers game. Another way to say it is that China simply CARES about TT more than anyone else. Last time I was in Sweden some guys about my age and a bit younger told me that the kinds of infrastucture they had as kids is hard to find now. They don't care anymore. That doesn't mean that great players won't pop up from other places, of course they will. But that doesn't mean any other country is likely to challenge Chinese dominance for any length of time. Sweden certainly isn't doing it.

    Maybe Japan, for a little while.

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    Last edited by Baal; 05-01-2020 at 01:43 PM.

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    #28
    Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    If you think it is mostly the short receive advantage, then why are other countries that are using Chinese rubber not doing as well as the Chinese do? How long should we wait to see the other countries that use Chinese rubber catch up?

    My original post was about specifically the national DHS rubbers which are not available to the rest of the world, it gives the short receive advantage but also the powerfull topspins needed at that level. Commercial chinese rubbers gives you only the short receive. Thats the whole concept behind the 09C. Don't get me wrong chinese will still be leading but not to this extent. Starting already from this upcoming Olympics , it won't be just as before for the chinese.

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    #29
    Quote Originally Posted by SofaChamp
    I said this a while back on an other forum but I genuinely believe that table tennis in the Chinese National Team is a strong contender for the human physical activity where we are closest to the theoretical peak performance. At no other time in human history has a group as large as the state of China put this much effort into selecting and training people in any solo physical activity.

    As regards the idea that other countries could catch up if they used similar equipment, I think the part of the reason why some non-CNT players such as Boll, Gauzy and Pitchford occasionally cause problems to CNT players is because of the different styles and equipment.
    Serious question: do you think Calderano is anything les than the chinese in terms of physical fitness ?

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    #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Musaab
    My original post was about specifically the national DHS rubbers which are not available to the rest of the world, it gives the short receive advantage but also the powerfull topspins needed at that level. Commercial chinese rubbers gives you only the short receive. Thats the whole concept behind the 09C. Don't get me wrong chinese will still be leading but not to this extent. Starting already from this upcoming Olympics , it won't be just as before for the chinese.
    Those national rubbers are available to Korean and Japanese players. Korea has DHS sponsored players (Jang Woojin) and many other players who use Hurricane in forehand. Japan has women who use Hurricane (Ishikawa, Hayata). None of these players would use inferior rubber if it was all they had access to. D09C is clearly a step in that direction, but like I said, we will see what the contribution is in a few years. The players that will probably benefit the most are Harimoto and Lin Yun Ju as they need such rubbers as they get better. But it is not as big a factor as you think. There are so many things that the best Chinese do after years of competition and selection that the short push is just one element. After all, FZD was predominantly a backhand flicker and he was #2 in the world with that style before switching to his short pushing style.

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    #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Baal


    But to say that any country besides Sweden in the 90s has actually challenged Chinese dominance, especially among male players is simply incorrect -- with the possible exception of Japanese women at the present time (and note if you will that everyone in Japan who knows anything about sports knows who they are). The NUMBER of great players China produces, and the number they have in the pipeline is just beyond amazing. In Germany, where there is a lot of what you need you can produce quite a few players in the world top 30. But have they ever challenged Chinese dominance?
    I didn't say that . Listen I don't know about other countries, in France, they only go to the school to recrute players , but children play in clubs , there are detection tournaments , detected talents may be admitted to these speical instituts "pole espoir" which translates roughly "hopes facility" where they play 6h and study at the same time , coaches are around etc... Competitions are at all levels from amateur to the pro league. Survivors would join the instiut of high perfomance of sports where the selection to the national team takes place. We are talking about ppl been playing their entire life so don't tell me about infrastructure.

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    #32
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    I think, if someone has a theory, and will ignore the fact that China was so determined to be the best that they sent players to Sweden to figure out how to combat Sweden and what Sweden was doing to be able to beat them.....no other country's government would put a coordinated effort of support and research behind something like that the way China did for table tennis.

    If you don't accept how central that is to why China is so good, then, is there a reason for any more discussion in this thread.

    Why is China so good at Gymnastics? Why was USSR so good at Gymnastics? I am not sure these are actually different questions. Government run, government funded, government backed programs determined to recruit and train the best athletes with R&D teams determined to research and explore the best training methods while recruiting kids starting at 4 years old....that kind of program would help any country improve. But I don't really know that there is an actual answer to the OP's question. And it seems OP's answer is H3BSN.....And I am just not sure an answer so simple actually makes sense.

    I posted above how the system works in France, I think it is good enough. But Com'on Carl, my simple answer could well be elaborated on as I did before. The short receive actually means : who get to attack first ? My analysis was based on my observation off the many many matchs I watched , the chinese player attack first most of the time. You guys attributes this to the number game + the infrastructure which give CNT players steps a head in terms of the serve receive. Thats possible. I think top European players are on the same level of talent but they have been using different equipments that gav'me less advantage. It is all explained but if you want to laugh it out on the simple answer of DHS rubber go a head
    Last edited by Musaab; 05-01-2020 at 02:24 PM.

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    #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Musaab
    I posted above how the system works in France, I think it is good enough. But Com'on Carl, my simple answer could well be elaborated on as I did before. The short receive actually means : who get to attack first ? My analysis was based on my observation off the many many matchs I watched , the chinese player attack first most of the time. You guys attributes this to the number game + the infrastructure which give CNT players steps a head in terms of the serve receive. Thats possible. I think top European players are on the same level of talent but they have been using different equipments that gav'me less advantage. It is all explained but if you want to laugh it out on the simple answer of DHS rubber go a head
    I deleted that post before I saw you answered because I feel Baal's post is quite complete. I do see your post on France's infrastructure.

    I really am not sure what it is. But I do think there are many factors and the biggest factor, to me, seems to be China's commitment to staying on top and the resources they are willing to put towards that endeavor.

    But I think Baal's comment is as complete as can be. I also think NextLevel's point about FZD and his level despite the fact that for years he used short game rarely and just attacked everything is quite interesting to consider.
    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 05-01-2020 at 02:40 PM.
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    #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Baal
    I have some personal excperience on this. First a bit of history. Sweden's importance in table tennis didn't begin with Waldner and Persson. It actually dates to the early-mid 60s (or earlier if you include Tage Flissberg). Recall Alser, Johansson, then Bengtsson, also Appelgren then Waldner and Persson, and then it died out. So by the time Waldner and Persson came about, there was a long history of greatness (but only for male players). Sadly, nobody in Sweden now is a threat to win a world championship (and never were for women).

    As a kid my family lived in Sweden in the early 70s and that is where I learned to play
    . There was a school next to our apartment, and there was a coach, and we had a league we could play in against other teams from all over Stockholm. You could see the top players on TV. You could see them in advertisements. The only other sports where Sweden was good was ice hockey and nordic skiing (this was before Bjorn Borg). China in those years was in turmoil, so a lot of the top players in that era were from Japan and eastern Europe, where TT was heavily subsidized by governments, as some of my close friends who played on former Yugoslavian junior national teams before emigrating to the US have described to me. That meant that many of the elements I just described were present, especially in Hungary and Yugoslavia, albeit on a smaller scale than we see in China today, but it didn't matter as much since China was till in the midst and immediate aftermath of their Cultural Revolution. Those elements no longer exist in those places. (Yugloslavia is not even a thing anymore) and those countries no longer produce top players who could conceivably win a world championship; the last one (if one is charitable) maybe Primorac. Put another way, those countries don't care about TT anymore.

    The other thing I would note is that every country occasionally produces a great player. One of my all time favorites (Gatien) is French for example. I studied him a lot and tried as best as I could to copy some of it. Schlager comes to mind. Timo Boll was a threat at least. These days Japan produces the most if you include both men and women. Harimoto will probably do it.

    But to say that any country besides Sweden in the 90s has actually challenged Chinese dominance, especially among male players is simply incorrect -- with the possible exception of Japanese women at the present time (and note if you will that everyone in Japan who knows anything about sports knows who they are). The NUMBER of great players China produces, and the number they have in the pipeline is just beyond amazing. In Germany, where there is a lot of what you need you can produce quite a few players in the world top 30. But have they ever challenged Chinese dominance?

    And of course, everyone may be looking to one single "superpower" that all Chinese players have, but that is impossible because all of their great players are quite different from each other. There is no way to say for example that Xu Xin and FZD play anything alike. And any suggestion that it is Hurricane that makes the difference just makes me laugh.

    What they all have in common though is the level of competition they have had to overcome at every stage of their playing careers, starting in childhood, and the opportunites they have to devote 100% of the days and nights to the sport. So yes, that means they all have great return of serve, and great footwork, etc. etc. but they accomplish it in somewhat different ways.

    So yes, it is very much a numbers game. Another way to say it is that China simply CARES about TT more than anyone else. Last time I was in Sweden some guys about my age and a bit younger told me that the kinds of infrastucture they had as kids is hard to find now. They don't care anymore. That doesn't mean that great players won't pop up from other places, of course they will. But that doesn't mean any other country is likely to challenge Chinese dominance for any length of time. Sweden certainly isn't doing it.

    Maybe Japan, for a little while.
    So, to me it seems, this is a complete enough answer to make more on the subject seem extraneous. I think this:

    "Another way to say it is that China simply CARES about TT more than anyone else."

    seems to me to be the most important issue. And Baal just said it better than I did when I made the point about China sending a team to Sweden to figure out what was going on. Baal's post is why I decided to delete my post. I feel Baal covers all the important info with a decent understanding of the history of it all.
    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 05-01-2020 at 03:44 PM.
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    #35
    So if Europe could only field one team, and all the players had to compete for say five places where you get to play international, only the most successful coaches get to work with the Euro team, etc, would that close the gap? Or halfway closed because still more than twice the population in China as in Europe? Or the Chinese coaches are still better?

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    #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Brs
    So if Europe could only field one team, and all the players had to compete for say five places where you get to play international, only the most successful coaches get to work with the Euro team, etc, would that close the gap? Or halfway closed because still more than twice the population in China as in Europe? Or the Chinese coaches are still better?
    Interesting point. I think China is better in every aspect so coaches included, it is the huge gap that is a bit inexplicable with this generic reasons of infrastructure and players populations. To answer your question I don't think it would since there is a similar thing going on to what you described for Europe. Kids already play european competitions , there is Europe top16 and on the last Olympics the european players had a training camp together. lets not forget the champions league too

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    #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Musaab
    Interesting point. I think China is better in every aspect so coaches included, it is the huge gap that is a bit inexplicable with this generic reasons of infrastructure and players populations. To answer your question I don't think it would since there is a similar thing going on to what you described for Europe. Kids already play european competitions , there is Europe top16 and on the last Olympics the european players had a training camp together. lets not forget the champions league too
    It would narrow the gap.

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    #38
    It's actually all of them - equipment, techniques, tactics, psyche, coaching, training, knowledge, resources, support, state-backed program, the whole nine yards. Even in China, it can't be stressed enough that "having cracked the code" is the key to their long-lasting success.

    Niwa and Ito have openly admitted the difficulty of shots coming from CNT players because of H3. Niwa, in particular, has said their 3rd ball is so frightening. Mizutani has touched on their focus of FH and related footwork in training. Matsu-ken has mentioned how they always handle a certain shot a certain way, no exception, which makes it so hard to deal with.

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    #39
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    Yeah, the real thing you might want to reverse engineer is how a little country like Sweden was able to overtake Chinese dominance in the late 1980s and throughout most of the 1990s. It was short lived. In retrospect it was short lived. But for a short time, it turned things upside down to the point that China sent people to Sweden to study why and how Sweden was beating them.
    Give us a sport that involves rackets and we’ll do it. Don’t forget the aftermath of Borg. Edberg, Wilander etc.

    We’re a small nation so a success gets a lot of media attention. High jump has been one of those sports where we’ve had disproportional success. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same happens in the aftermath of Duplantis.


    (back to the topic - we had a crazy amount of TT tables in the 60-90ies available to kids. This is no longer the case)

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    #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Baal
    It would narrow the gap.
    Agreed. It is what happens on a smaller scale when top talent is sent to German or French league teams to train and improve with better players.
    Cobra Kai TT Exponent - No mercy in this dojo, no matter your rating or the score. All spin, no power or footwork.

    "We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training" - Archilochus

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