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    #1

    Road to Tokyo 2020: Chinese TT Team

    There’s not much debate for men: ML, XX, and FZD. The fourth player will be one of them: LGY, LJK, and WCQ. Most likely FZD and ML will play singles and XX team and XD. I have a feeling WCQ will have better chance joining the team than the other two.

    There are way more uncertainties on women’ side. LSW, CM, DN, and SYS are the Gang of Four. But who plays single and who’s the fourth player are not at all that clear. LSW has clear advantages in terms of achievement this year but her losing record against ITO is a huge concern. DN’s got most experiences and she’s the only left hander among the four but her record this year is the worst. CM has the best chance to play single. But her occasional short circuit against lesser foreign players remains a concern. SYS’s most exciting and fans love her to play single. My guess is she will likely wind up being the fourth player.

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    #2
    Doesn't WANG Manyu still has some chance instead of DING Ning ?

    My feeling is DN won't play singles but only team + XD at best. I can imagine DN will be forced into "retiring by herself" upon being told she won't be part of it.

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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Takkyu_wa_inochi
    Doesn't WANG Manyu still has some chance instead of DING Ning ?

    My feeling is DN won't play singles but only team + XD at best. I can imagine DN will be forced into "retiring by herself" upon being told she won't be part of it.
    In my mind, WMY is the 5th best player in the CNT, thus out of the Olympic team. A year or two ago, she was top three, but she has bean fading away as of late. It’ll be an expected scenario that DN gets “injured” when things are not going for her and SYS, the fourth player, will play.

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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Free bird
    There’s not much debate for men: ML, XX, and FZD. The fourth player will be one of them: LGY, LJK, and WCQ. Most likely FZD and ML will play singles and XX team and XD. I have a feeling WCQ will have better chance joining the team than the other two.

    There are way more uncertainties on women’ side. LSW, CM, DN, and SYS are the Gang of Four. But who plays single and who’s the fourth player are not at all that clear. LSW has clear advantages in terms of achievement this year but her losing record against ITO is a huge concern. DN’s got most experiences and she’s the only left hander among the four but her record this year is the worst. CM has the best chance to play single. But her occasional short circuit against lesser foreign players remains a concern. SYS’s most exciting and fans love her to play single. My guess is she will likely wind up being the fourth player.
    I will say Team China threat is at the door, Team Japan is stronger than last Olympics both Tomokazu & Mima look to really pressure the Chinese and why I think I'm basing the team prediction on right now, will most likely change closer to Tokyo 2020

    Mixed Doubles Xu Xin & Liu Shiwen, no debate here?

    Men's Singles is tough, Ma Long is better than Xu Xin IMO however his injury is concerning. Fan Zhendong gets first spot, second goes to Xu Xin, very consistent especially against non Chinese, still feel his good fit, third spot for team goes to Ma Long. 4th backup I agree Wang Chiquin.

    Ladies singles is easily tough, but 2 clear choices for me are Chen Meng & Sun Yingsha, think both have had Mima covered, third spot goes to Ding Ning, she like Ma Long both big figures to the the team brand and reliable figures for team events. 4th spot Liu Shiwen, could easily be considered for singles and team, least she will have 1 major event on her preparations.

    Thoughts?

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    #5
    I can hardly image LSW will be bench player but SYS has a good chance to be that fourth player. SYS is just not as tested as other three players.
    MaLong played much better at ITTF grand final than he did in World Cup a week earlier. He’s recovering better than I expected after the knee surgery. I still think FZD and ML are better players for single.

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    #6
    I still believe China team have a short-list of at least 5-6 players. Next 3-6 months will be big to make big impression on coaches, that goes for all national teams.

    Women's singles will come down to form and who can they count on to take down Mima Ito in a Semi Final or Gold Medal match, right now not many Chinese ladies can do that task.

    Men's will come down to Ma Long and his recovery and form, his good enough but recent form due to injury a concern. I think if not convinced they might not take that chance.

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    #7
    LSW cannot be the 4th player if she plays mix double. She has to be part of the team composition.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaLin2.0
    I will say Team China threat is at the door, Team Japan is stronger than last Olympics both Tomokazu & Mima look to really pressure the Chinese and why I think I'm basing the team prediction on right now, will most likely change closer to Tokyo 2020

    Mixed Doubles Xu Xin & Liu Shiwen, no debate here?

    Men's Singles is tough, Ma Long is better than Xu Xin IMO however his injury is concerning. Fan Zhendong gets first spot, second goes to Xu Xin, very consistent especially against non Chinese, still feel his good fit, third spot for team goes to Ma Long. 4th backup I agree Wang Chiquin.

    Ladies singles is easily tough, but 2 clear choices for me are Chen Meng & Sun Yingsha, think both have had Mima covered, third spot goes to Ding Ning, she like Ma Long both big figures to the the team brand and reliable figures for team events. 4th spot Liu Shiwen, could easily be considered for singles and team, least she will have 1 major event on her preparations.

    Thoughts?

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    #8
    Being world champ , LSW is definitely in for singles as per established CNT doctrine. Chen Meng will definitely not make the cut for singles given her inconsistent track record. So it boils down to SYS and DN for singles. SYS should be selected given her stellar track record of late.

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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by drunix80
    Being world champ , LSW is definitely in for singles as per established CNT doctrine. Chen Meng will definitely not make the cut for singles given her inconsistent track record. So it boils down to SYS and DN for singles. SYS should be selected given her stellar track record of late.
    On women’ side at this point, “defintely” is a word I’d not use without hesitation. Ito has become such a threat that CNT has not encountered since way back when. CNT can’t afford doing their selection as usual any more. How one plays against Ito is one of the key factors. LSW lost her last two encounters against Ito. And she’s getting one year older and Ito one year stronger.

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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Free bird
    On women’ side at this point, “defintely” is a word I’d not use without hesitation. Ito has become such a threat that CNT has not encountered since way back when. CNT can’t afford doing their selection as usual any more. How one plays against Ito is one of the key factors. LSW lost her last two encounters against Ito. And she’s getting one year older and Ito one year stronger.
    While it's true that nothing is definite when it comes to the CNT, your point about LSW losing the last two encounters against Ito also merits further discussion IMO. Context definitely matters there – you're comparing the LSW who was at the lowest point of her career (essentially abandoned with no coach except during team events) to the Ito who has finally developed a play style that fits her and is very threatening to the top-tier players. Even so, LSW was never really disadvantaged in any major way and led on both occasions before getting the tables turned on her by a more fearless Ito. Even Ito herself admitted that LSW is a consistent and smart player who should play the Singles (alongside SYS with DN being the third member for the team event). Am I saying that LSW is stronger than Ito simply because she has achieved some major breakthroughs this year by winning the WTTC and WWC? No, I'm not (she has definitely upped her skills but so has Ito) nor am I dismissing these two losses in 2018 (those are losses, period) but my point is they have to be viewed in a more nuanced manner. In the same XX interview that you had referenced above, one of the key considerations the Chinese coaches allegedly look at is how a player bounces back from his/her trough:

    我觉得从领导和教练层这方面来说,他们比较看重我世锦赛以后失利的改变,因为他们的选材标准是在最困难的时刻能够有反弹。所有优秀的运动员打好了,我觉得都能够取胜,但是教练员看的就是在困难的时候能绝地求生,我觉得这是很关键的一点。
    Just my two-cents.

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    Last edited by Janard; 12-30-2019 at 04:11 PM.

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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Janard
    While it's true that nothing is definite when it comes to the CNT, your point about LSW losing the last two encounters against Ito also merits further discussion IMO. Context definitely matters there – you're comparing the LSW who was at the lowest point of her career (essentially abandoned with no coach except during team events) to the Ito who has finally developed a play style that fits her and is very threatening to the top-tier players. Even so, LSW was never really disadvantaged in any major way and led on both occasions before getting the tables turned on her by a more fearless Ito. Even Ito herself admitted that LSW is a consistent and smart player who should play the Singles (alongside SYS with DN being the third member for the team event). Am I saying that LSW is stronger than Ito simply because she has achieved some major breakthroughs this year by winning the WTTC and WWC? No, I'm not (she has definitely upped her skills but so has Ito) nor am I dismissing these two losses in 2018 (those are losses, period) but my point is they have to be viewed in a more nuanced manner. In the same XX interview that you had referenced above, one of the key considerations the Chinese coaches allegedly look at is how a player bounces back from his/her trough:


    Just my two-cents.
    Points well taken Janard. Indeed, one just can’t discount the context when talking about the two losses. What’s common between LSW, XX, and FZD? They’ve all climbed out of a big hole and only become stronger and tougher.
    At this point, LSW is most likely to play single. CM and SYS, who will play single, is a toss for me.

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    #12
    The threat is at CNT door especially with Tokyo hosting the Olympics

    I think Japan will be represented by Mima & Kasumi, but Mima is the main threat and its which Chinese pair in singles do you confidently feel can get through Mima for me and it's me personally I think it's CM & SYS, I don't think CNT should pick DN over SYS considering SYS clearly in better form, both have recently beaten Mima too, LSW not so confident in, again my opinion

    Men's similar, not sold that Ma Long has gotten over his injuries and watching him against Harimoto & LJY has been concerning, the threat is bigger on men's singles events with 2 mentioned, Timo, Dima and Korean pair, they should play it safe with FZ & XX as both also coming off impressive years. If ML gets knocked out early because of injury will pressure FZ to win the event.

    Can we say now with LSW & ML selected, confident they will reach gold medal match if say their SF matches are,
    LSW vs Mima Ito
    Ma Long vs Harimoto

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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by MaLin2.0
    The threat is at CNT door especially with Tokyo hosting the Olympics

    I think Japan will be represented by Mima & Kasumi, but Mima is the main threat and its which Chinese pair in singles do you confidently feel can get through Mima for me and it's me personally I think it's CM & SYS, I don't think CNT should pick DN over SYS considering SYS clearly in better form, both have recently beaten Mima too, LSW not so confident in, again my opinion

    Men's similar, not sold that Ma Long has gotten over his injuries and watching him against Harimoto & LJY has been concerning, the threat is bigger on men's singles events with 2 mentioned, Timo, Dima and Korean pair, they should play it safe with FZ & XX as both also coming off impressive years. If ML gets knocked out early because of injury will pressure FZ to win the event.

    Can we say now with LSW & ML selected, confident they will reach gold medal match if say their SF matches are,
    LSW vs Mima Ito
    Ma Long vs Harimoto
    Any Japanese female couple with Ishikawa has no chance against the Chinese ...
    Ito - Hirano has not been playing together for several years ....

    Ito-Hayata - this couple has a chance ....But JNT and Miyazaki have not announced this pair for tournaments for a year now ....

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    #14
    What will be the end result of S.Y.S. in the current Marwellou.....

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    #15
    There is no 4th player, is there? You have a P-athlete who might replace one of the other players for injury or similar. The injured player will be withdrawn from the Olympics. And: this works for teams, but not for xd or singles (unless you have luck and your P-player is the next eligable player, or half of the next qualified xd pair)

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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Mytoman
    There is no 4th player, is there? You have a P-athlete who might replace one of the other players for injury or similar. The injured player will be withdrawn from the Olympics. And: this works for teams, but not for xd or singles (unless you have luck and your P-player is the next eligable player, or half of the next qualified xd pair)
    You’re right about P-athlete. The 4th player in this context is just that. The current DN/SYS situation is reminiscent of ZJK/FZD situation in the last Olympic. ZJK already passed his prime and bothered with injuries but FZD was young and coming up very strong. Still ZJK was picked to play and FZD the 4th player, the P-athlete. CNT has been notoriously conservative when it comes to pick Olympic athletes. That’s why I think SYS is more likely to be the 4th player.

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    #17
    Just thinking about the most dangerous opponent being Japan, I would never skip Xu Xin. He is a lefty and placing short serves into the forehand of Harimoto is a natural thing for him. Just short in his fh, whatever comes from Harimoto is killed by him in on the 3. ball.
    I've seen one of the last matches of FZD against Harimoto and there he even served from the middle to get a good angle on the fh of Harimoto.
    Harimoto also has hard times against players who rely more on killing shots especially on the 3. ball like FZD and XX. Players like ML or LGY, who rely on playing the one ball more on the table than the opponent are easier for him.

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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Ingo_Ger
    Just thinking about the most dangerous opponent being Japan, I would never skip Xu Xin. He is a lefty and placing short serves into the forehand of Harimoto is a natural thing for him. Just short in his fh, whatever comes from Harimoto is killed by him in on the 3. ball.
    I've seen one of the last matches of FZD against Harimoto and there he even served from the middle to get a good angle on the fh of Harimoto.
    Harimoto also has hard times against players who rely more on killing shots especially on the 3. ball like FZD and XX. Players like ML or LGY, who rely on playing the one ball more on the table than the opponent are easier for him.
    The problem is the way the CNT selects for Olympics spot, they are not going to take ML off unless he is very very very injured. He is the reigning Olympic and World champion. Barring horrible injury, he is in fact the player who's spot is the most secure for singles (technically FZD's might be more secure because ML might actually just be that injured). XX is the obvious third choice after those two, and no one else is realistic after that.

    They are simply not going to take play style matchups into account, the CNT coaching staff has always gone with players with best recent(ish) big occasion performance.

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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Ingo_Ger
    Just thinking about the most dangerous opponent being Japan, I would never skip Xu Xin. He is a lefty and placing short serves into the forehand of Harimoto is a natural thing for him. Just short in his fh, whatever comes from Harimoto is killed by him in on the 3. ball.
    I've seen one of the last matches of FZD against Harimoto and there he even served from the middle to get a good angle on the fh of Harimoto.
    Harimoto also has hard times against players who rely more on killing shots especially on the 3. ball like FZD and XX. Players like ML or LGY, who rely on playing the one ball more on the table than the opponent are easier for him.
    If you consider XX’s record alone, it’s ridiculous not to pick him. Unfortunately, he has to be compared against ML and FZD. ML has shown he’s made good progress recovering from surgery by beating both LJK and XX in the ittf grand final and it’s only going to get better from this point on. FZD has climbed out a huge hole and become a much stronger, more complete player. Even XX himself recognizes this reality. In yesterday’s interview with CCTV, he acknowledged that ML and FZD have advantages over him on singles and he’d focus more on XD. Of course, he’d put 100% effort fighting for a single spot even if there’s 1% chance.

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    #20
    Do you feel confident in a SF play off coming off long tournament Ma Long can get through Harimoto or LYJ or Do? His injury been limiting him, XX should feel confident as very consistent year and good record against the non Chinese mentioned while ML has struggled

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