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    1. Top | #1
      MLFM Table Tennis is offline
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      Talk about live legends: Vladimir Samsonov, Timo Boll and Jan Ove Waldner

      Why are European legends like Vladimir Samsonov, Timo Boll or Jan Ove Waldner able to play at the top of the world so long, while Chinese athletes often take a break early? A lot of people have asked me that question, and today, i will try to analyze it from a professional perspective.

      Analysis play style:
      - Samsonov: play both side, bulky body, slow speed, weak force, hit the medium range.

      - Timo Boll: play both side(safe, spiny forehand and fast demi from backhand), great footwork, play close and middle range of table.
      - Waldner: mostly play forehand side, close to the table, brilliant in serve and return serve, good defense from backhand , his forehand loop is very hard to predict and very wide placement.

      So, what do they all have in common to be able to play at the top of the world for so long? In my opinion, these are the factors:


      - GOOD DEFENSE:
      All 3 European Legends have amazing defensive ability. It is extremely difficult to break through them. Attack force must be like the top Chinese player to be able to take the points. When they defend well, it means they are already in an unbeatable position. They can choose good ball situations to finish, otherwise they can return it back to the opponent attack, because they can defend anyway.


      - GREAT FEELING:
      Look at how Waldner returned the serve with push, flirt and flick. Look at how Timo Boll show his crazy touch (short push). Look at Samsonov adjust his ball placement very hard when standing in the middle of the table. You will see their feeling so incredible.


      - TENACITY and PLACEMENT OF THE BALL:

      Speaking of tenacity, Samsonov must say is the best. He was surprisingly persistent. To get a point of Sam, the opponent may have to attack up to 7-10 shots with very hard placement and create big pressure. Waldner is capable of looping with crazy side spin and so wide placement, even if the opponent knows, it is difficult to catch up. Timo Boll is combine version of 2 legends. He attacks very spin, safe and placement so hard to defense or counter back. He also have great defense albility with his strongest weapon is backhand counter shot (fast rhythm, close to the table)


      In summary, they are going another way. The path of feeling, control and tenacity, not the path of speed or power like the Chinese. Naturally, focusing on fast and strong can't play on top of the world forever.

      Speaking of us, you and me, the amateur players, which play style do you choose? The path of speed and power like the Chinese, or the path of feeling and control like European legends? Comment below to let us know.

      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 43528121364_e6a04d62c8_o.jpg   34960992431_0723318876_o.jpg  
      Last edited by MLFM Table Tennis; 02-16-2020 at 08:21 AM.

    2. Top | #2
      zzzuppp is offline
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      Simple answer - Chinese players are under intense pressure from the massed ranks waiting behind them, so the slightest failure or lapse can lose them their spot in the CNT; their moment in the sun tends to be brief. Traditionally Chinese players have retired early, but interestingly the tendency recently has been for Chinese players to stay around for longer at the top - Ma Long and Xu Xin have been in the first rank of the CNT for a decade now.

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    4. Top | #3
      Sali is offline
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      The answer is easier. It is all about competition. On europe we do not have next timo or vladi do they keep playing.
      Also China produce better athletes they are more focused on Perfect technic and speed like footwork. So on that way they are getting older quicker.
      Last thing there is one who showed age is nothing wining China Nationals hou yinghao.

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    6. Top | #4
      Lula is offline
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      I can also imagine that chinese player start much much earlier and train more so maybe it is not as much fun and it feel in their bodies that they have played longer and mabe trained more. I am speculating alot here, but i think thay maybe european players have more internal motivation compared to chinese players.

    7. Top | #5
      MLFM Table Tennis is offline
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      yeah, but i remember the old time. I love how Walner play with the ball. Now table tennis develop like "fast and furious" movie series
      Quote Originally Posted by zzzuppp View Post
      Simple answer - Chinese players are under intense pressure from the massed ranks waiting behind them, so the slightest failure or lapse can lose them their spot in the CNT; their moment in the sun tends to be brief. Traditionally Chinese players have retired early, but interestingly the tendency recently has been for Chinese players to stay around for longer at the top - Ma Long and Xu Xin have been in the first rank of the CNT for a decade now.

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    9. Top | #6
      langel is offline
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      I think its because of the different training systems in China and Europe.
      In China the system is focused on the result - to find the best from the very beginning and from the best to Produce the best of the best. This process of Production does not care much about the youngest players personal way and temp of development, this process is a strict template and if a youngster fails to suit the template in strictly formulated time and level margins, it just drops out of the system. China has more than enough material to work with and no one cares that eventually that system may leave undiscovered future talents, throwing away them just because they don't fit the template at the exact time.
      In Europe we don't have too much material to work with and the training system is focussed on revealing the potential of every single player, without margins and templates and no matter would it become a pro or not. In Europe the most important thing, which doesn't work effectively enough, is to better stimulate the most talented and to keep them in the system.

    10. Top | #7
      vik is offline
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      Chinese would be good to till their 40,but they are replaced by younger players from cnt in age 30.I remeber Ma wenge and Chen zhi bin were retired and played 1. budesliga till 40,they beat by that time top european players,like Sasmonov,Rosskopf,Timmo Boll.Ma Wenge beat Wang liqin - cnt player by that time.Wang liqin played in cnt till 35 and Ma lin after retirement played in russian league and beat Ovtcharov in age 35.Look at He zhi wen.Played goog till 40s-averege chinise player,or Chen wei xin,
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btzWnpvqtfw
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6DRXi3VRqU
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfCDtQel9pc
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPcQdUx46tA
      Last edited by vik; 02-17-2020 at 11:30 AM.

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    12. Top | #8
      Tommy16 is offline
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      I think every one has a point in this discussion. I have allways think that the reason why chinese players gets injuries which ends their courier is their fh technique compined very heavy training from very young age. Chinese player plays now a days mainly with bh stance. They have their right foot (right hand player) closer the table than their left foot. This means that they must twist their hips much more than europian players during fh loop. This makes a lot of pressure to their knees too. I don’t have any sientific background to toughts but I think this is the reason why ZJK for excample had to quit so early.
      Last edited by Tommy16; 02-17-2020 at 01:34 PM.

    13. Top | #9
      zeio is offline
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      ZJK was born with a fracture in one side of his sacrum, and then he fractured the other side from all the intensive training his dad put him through since childhood.

      If one turns to 海外兵團, or overseas legion(the Chinese term dedicated to the former CNT players representing other associations, at its peak in the 90s), you'd see that many of them remained competitive until their late 30s. The most prominent example is Ding Yi, who is among the first wave to go overseas.

      Almost 40 in the videos below, whereas Korbel was mid-20s and Boll was like late teens?


      Race for Tokyo 2020 - China, Japan
      Time capsules - 2020, 2024, 2028

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    15. Top | #10
      Simas is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by zeio View Post
      ZJK was born with a fracture in one side of his sacrum, and then he fractured the other side from all the intensive training his dad put him through since childhood.
      didn't know that. that's crazy. Do you have more info about the story with his dad?

    16. Top | #11
      zeio is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Simas View Post
      didn't know that. that's crazy. Do you have more info about the story with his dad?
      http://news.cntv.cn/sport/20120713/107543.shtml
        “那时家里就两间房子,把其他家具,全都调到另一间房子里,把这间倒出来,放了一张乒乓球台,因为张继科当时身高不够,我就在地上铺了一层木板,在木板上打。”张传铭说。虽然儿子年纪小,但张传铭的要求却异常严格。从幼儿园开始,张继科每天除了上课,练习时间都在3个小时以上。为了训练儿子,张传铭花样儿很多,每天晚上蛙跳、单腿跳、交叉步、并步、跨跳。“要是完成不了训练计划,没达到我的满意,肯定我要给他补课、加时,要体罚,体罚是跑长跑,做身体训练,蹦楼梯,还有我骑摩托车,25迈的速度,他要跑到我前面去。”

        练不好怎么办?“练不好就武力解决呗!”张继科说,“打不好就跑,再打不好就揍,这种枯燥的训练,持续了五六年的时间,先是跟自行车跑,到后面升级了,跟摩托车跑,当时那种要求,自己可能没有完全理解到,但是现在还是非常感谢我父亲,没有他的要求,我也不会走到今天。”就这样,张继科练出一身的腱子肉,身体素质在国乒也是数一数二。

    17. Top | #12
      yoass is offline
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      Hmmm. Ni Xialian does come to mind.

    18. Top | #13
      zzzuppp is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by yoass View Post
      Hmmm. Ni Xialian does come to mind.
      Not to mention He Zhiwen, who reached the quarter finals in the World Championships in 1997, further than he went twelve years previously when he was a member of the Chinese team - or even Guo Yuehua, who came out of retirement in c. 1990 and beat Jorgen Persson. In fact the same could be said of any of the leading Chinese, had they chosen to continue playing.
      It's not just the pressure from beneath with the National team, but out of Chinese loyalty to the country, which comes before individual considerations. Get out of the way for the sake of the nation. Or move abroad and prosper for a bit longer at TT.

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