Road to Tokyo 2020: Chinese TT Team

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Looks like there will be COVID-19 vaccine(s) available by the end of the year and I have little doubt Tokyo 2020 is going to happen next year.
 
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Chen Meng is probably my favorite lady player, no need to infer dislike from criticism.

I'm a Chen Meng fan to, however fact is people don't rate her a highly from comments I have been reading. Mima is applying big pressure on CNT but seems to me only one able to deal with that pressure is CM, rest on the CNT are hit and MISS, SYS exception as has positive record but she is probably seen as unproven compared to DN & LSW
 
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Looks like there will be COVID-19 vaccine(s) available by the end of the year and I have little doubt Tokyo 2020 is going to happen next year.

Depends on how quick vaccine can be circulated, how long will take for immune system to adjust to vaccine and around the globe plus how much of the globe is impacted and if risk still exists.

Japan has older population too, so have 20,000+ athletes and tourists in your country that least half still pose a risk might not be worth it, think Tokyo organisers pretty much giving up on it
 
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I'm a Chen Meng fan to, however fact is people don't rate her a highly from comments I have been reading. Mima is applying big pressure on CNT but seems to me only one able to deal with that pressure is CM, rest on the CNT are hit and MISS, SYS exception as has positive record but she is probably seen as unproven compared to DN & LSW

What has Chen Meng won? It isn't about rating her highly but that she lacks major titles.
 
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What has Chen Meng won? It isn't about rating her highly but that she lacks major titles.

She has won like 3 consecutive ITTF Grand Finals, I know doesn't mean much to some people but I still think worth something. She has won heaps of Seamaster tournaments last few years. Table Tennis isn't like Tennis where you gave 4 major tournaments every year, it's like few major tournaments every few years.

Ding Ning has won everything but just lost to Mima 4-0, LSW has probably existing injury she is recovering from. Again just my opinion.
 
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I agree that Chen Meng's record against Ito is impressive and spotless, and she deserves high consideration for an Olympic Spot because of this. However, one must be cautious in giving too much weight to winning records and win streaks against certain players. In the Olympics, or any other major event where the pressure is great, win streaks and winning records may play less of a factor in determining the outcome.

A knock on Chen Meng's possible bid for an Olympic spot is that she's had winning records and streaks against several players in less prestigious events like the World Tour, but ends up losing to the same players in a much bigger event such as the World Championships or a Continental Title Event. 3 of such players are Liu Shiwen, Wang Manyu and Zhu Yuling.

Liu Shiwen- Chen Meng actually had a 6 match win streak against Liu from 2013 to 2019. Given this win streak, one would think that Chen Meng has a matchup and psychological advantage over Liu. However, in the 2019 WTTC final, the biggest stage, that win streak ended despite all signs pointing to Chen Meng continuing that win streak.

Wang Manyu- Chen Meng has won against her 9 of the last 10 times. The one time Chen Meng lost was in the final of the 2018 Asian Games, which China actually gives more weight to than any World Tour or Grand Final event.

Zhu Yuling- Chen Meng has won 6 out of the last 7 matches against her. The one time Chen Meng lost was in the final of the 2019 Asian Cup, which would have qualified her for the Women's World Cup. The Asian Cup is also a continental title event, which is a title Chen Meng still lacks, so it's strange that the only time Chen Meng has lost to Zhu in the last 7 matches was in this big event.

I think we should also take note of the fact that different national associations may value the same tournament differently. For example, there's a difference in how China values continental title events with how Japan values these same events. There's also a difference in the importance given by both China and Japan on the World Tour Grand Finals.

To illustrate:
Japan values the WTGF over Asian Title events. This is clear when they sent their "B-team" to the 2018 Asian Games, while its main players fought in the 2018 Bulgarian and Czech Opens to gain more rankings points and to earn more World Tour Standing points for the World Tour Grand Finals. In the 2019 Asian Championships, Japan didn't even send Ito to play or send Hayata to play in at least doubles. However, if you look at China's lineup, most, if not all the top players play in the continental title events.

China, on the other hand, values Asian Title events over the WTGF and World Tour events. There were times in the past where China didn't even send anyone to the WTGF because they didn't bother qualifying these players by sending them to play in enough World Tour events. Even today, there are times where China has no entries in doubles in the WTGF, so it's often we see other countries take the doubles titles in the WTGF. It's only because of the new WR system that pushes the CNT to play more events that we see more Chinese players qualify for the WTGF. In contrast, Japanese players usually join every World Tour event to try to qualify for the WTGF. In fact, Japan puts such a high weight in the WTGF that those players who qualified for the 2018 WTGF didn't have to go through the first screening of the 2019 WTTC selection tournament.

If Chen Meng's Olympic Bid was being evaluated using JTTA's criteria, she would be a lock for an Olympic singles spot given her wins on the World Tour and WTGF and her lack of continental titles would be brushed aside. However, using CTTA's criteria, where continental titles and majors are given much more importance, Chen Meng would be highly considered for an Olympic Singles spot, but that spot would be far from a sure thing.

In conclusion, I think that while Chen Meng is probably the player in the best form right now, the criticism she is receiving is still fair. No one is discounting what she has accomplished so far, or her spotless record against Ito. People are just concerned that in a major event, that winning record may not mean much given that she has a history of losing to players that she has had winning streaks against during bigger tournaments. This factor will be weighed against the shortcomings of the other women in the CNT.

In the end, all the CNT women have shortcomings that may make one think twice about choosing them for the Olympics. Chen Meng may not have proven herself enough in the biggest events despite winning many World Tour titles. Ding Ning has all the accolades and a history of performing well in the biggest events but is getting older and did lose badly to Ito last time. Sun Yingsha has already won several titles, including the Asian Championships, and even saved match points against Ito and Hirano in the biggest events of her life (Team World Cup and Youth Olympic Games), but some may still argue that she needs more experience before being selected. CTTA is in the best position to determine which among these shortcomings will least likely prevent China from winning 5 gold medals. CTTA is also in the best position to determine who among these players are in the best position to fix these shortcomings before the Olympics when they make their selection of the Olympic team. The CNT Road to Tokyo 2021 continues!
 
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So Sun Yingsha and Ding Ning know how to deal with pressure and Chen Meng and Wang Manyu don't? ;)

YdBAYJa.jpg
 
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I agree that Chen Meng's record against Ito is impressive and spotless, and she deserves high consideration for an Olympic Spot because of this. However, one must be cautious in giving too much weight to winning records and win streaks against certain players. In the Olympics, or any other major event where the pressure is great, win streaks and winning records may play less of a factor in determining the outcome.

A knock on Chen Meng's possible bid for an Olympic spot is that she's had winning records and streaks against several players in less prestigious events like the World Tour, but ends up losing to the same players in a much bigger event such as the World Championships or a Continental Title Event. 3 of such players are Liu Shiwen, Wang Manyu and Zhu Yuling.

Liu Shiwen- Chen Meng actually had a 6 match win streak against Liu from 2013 to 2019. Given this win streak, one would think that Chen Meng has a matchup and psychological advantage over Liu. However, in the 2019 WTTC final, the biggest stage, that win streak ended despite all signs pointing to Chen Meng continuing that win streak.

Wang Manyu- Chen Meng has won against her 9 of the last 10 times. The one time Chen Meng lost was in the final of the 2018 Asian Games, which China actually gives more weight to than any World Tour or Grand Final event.

Zhu Yuling- Chen Meng has won 6 out of the last 7 matches against her. The one time Chen Meng lost was in the final of the 2019 Asian Cup, which would have qualified her for the Women's World Cup. The Asian Cup is also a continental title event, which is a title Chen Meng still lacks, so it's strange that the only time Chen Meng has lost to Zhu in the last 7 matches was in this big event.

I think we should also take note of the fact that different national associations may value the same tournament differently. For example, there's a difference in how China values continental title events with how Japan values these same events. There's also a difference in the importance given by both China and Japan on the World Tour Grand Finals.

To illustrate:
Japan values the WTGF over Asian Title events. This is clear when they sent their "B-team" to the 2018 Asian Games, while its main players fought in the 2018 Bulgarian and Czech Opens to gain more rankings points and to earn more World Tour Standing points for the World Tour Grand Finals. In the 2019 Asian Championships, Japan didn't even send Ito to play or send Hayata to play in at least doubles. However, if you look at China's lineup, most, if not all the top players play in the continental title events.

China, on the other hand, values Asian Title events over the WTGF and World Tour events. There were times in the past where China didn't even send anyone to the WTGF because they didn't bother qualifying these players by sending them to play in enough World Tour events. Even today, there are times where China has no entries in doubles in the WTGF, so it's often we see other countries take the doubles titles in the WTGF. It's only because of the new WR system that pushes the CNT to play more events that we see more Chinese players qualify for the WTGF. In contrast, Japanese players usually join every World Tour event to try to qualify for the WTGF. In fact, Japan puts such a high weight in the WTGF that those players who qualified for the 2018 WTGF didn't have to go through the first screening of the 2019 WTTC selection tournament.

If Chen Meng's Olympic Bid was being evaluated using JTTA's criteria, she would be a lock for an Olympic singles spot given her wins on the World Tour and WTGF and her lack of continental titles would be brushed aside. However, using CTTA's criteria, where continental titles and majors are given much more importance, Chen Meng would be highly considered for an Olympic Singles spot, but that spot would be far from a sure thing.

In conclusion, I think that while Chen Meng is probably the player in the best form right now, the criticism she is receiving is still fair. No one is discounting what she has accomplished so far, or her spotless record against Ito. People are just concerned that in a major event, that winning record may not mean much given that she has a history of losing to players that she has had winning streaks against during bigger tournaments. This factor will be weighed against the shortcomings of the other women in the CNT.

In the end, all the CNT women have shortcomings that may make one think twice about choosing them for the Olympics. Chen Meng may not have proven herself enough in the biggest events despite winning many World Tour titles. Ding Ning has all the accolades and a history of performing well in the biggest events but is getting older and did lose badly to Ito last time. Sun Yingsha has already won several titles, including the Asian Championships, and even saved match points against Ito and Hirano in the biggest events of her life (Team World Cup and Youth Olympic Games), but some may still argue that she needs more experience before being selected. CTTA is in the best position to determine which among these shortcomings will least likely prevent China from winning 5 gold medals. CTTA is also in the best position to determine who among these players are in the best position to fix these shortcomings before the Olympics when they make their selection of the Olympic team. The CNT Road to Tokyo 2021 continues!

I feel compared to previous years the threat is higher for the CNT. Last few games clear who the inform players were and the outcome, CNT just pretty much had to show up to the games to receive their gold Medals, now the feel is alot different.

There is move vulnerability now to CNT.

Ma Long injury, FZD went through a patch losing multiple times to non Chinese players, XX has recently lost to Liam Pitchford. Women's Mima Ito has taken apart plenty of the CNT ladies, DN, ZYL, LSW which you have mentioned how big they play at major tournaments and better few others on the CNT and still makes tour finals but most times runs into CM. Think the decision is not an easy one for coaches to make and might discount past success for bit more current form.
 
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Way different. Ma Long had national, continental and major titles. Chen Meng has NONE.
 
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How is this Chen Meng situation differs from Ma Long prior to his 2015 Suzhou breakthrough?

Ma Long had won every title (continental) in existence except the WTTC and the Olympics. He even has a World Cup in 2012 which Chen Meng lacks. Not even close. Chen Meng is a good player so this is all just stuff and it is borderline nitpicking. It is just stuff to point out when someone doesn't like the facts to get out there because thet like a player. They used to call Li Xiaoxia bridesmaid (and she was more accomplished than Chen Meng) and she broke through. LIu Shiwen had lots of World Cuos and she was mocked too until the last WTTC. So Chen Meng really. Read to win something.
 
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Ma Long had won every title (continental) in existence except the WTTC and the Olympics. He even has a World Cup in 2012 which Chen Meng lacks. Not even close. Chen Meng is a good player so this is all just stuff and it is borderline nitpicking. It is just stuff to point out when someone doesn't like the facts to get out there because thet like a player. They used to call Li Xiaoxia bridesmaid (and she was more accomplished than Chen Meng) and she broke through. LIu Shiwen had lots of World Cuos and she was mocked too until the last WTTC. So Chen Meng really. Read to win something.

Miu Hirano has a World Cup Title and an Asian Championship beating (ZYL, DN & CM) at the tournament yet still rated below both Mima Ito & Kasumi Ishikawa who neither have won those titles. Funny these standards teams set aye.

I'm sure the coaches closely watch these players and discuss amongst themselves their opinions, no doubt always honest with eachother and doing their duediligence. As mentioned not easy calls to make, think once play resumes players will be working extra hard to impress and convince the coaches they are worthy of Tokyo 2021, all teams to exception of Japanese teams who have already announced their squad.
 
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Ito & Ishikawa rated higher than Hirano? Hmm.

LGL served as color commentator for TWC 2018 and said Hirano was still a greater threat than Ito.

From the lineup against China for WTTC 2018 and TWC 2019, it's clear Baba rated Hirano(2nd singles at WTTC 2018 and 3rd player at TWC 2019) higher than Ishikawa(3rd singles at WTTC 2018). Even Bobrow said they should've benched Ishikawa and gone with Hayata. Lin Qiang, the CCTV color commentator for TWC 2019 openly labeled Ishikawa as the weakest link and that Japan could have had a more flexible lineup and better odds with Hayata instead.
 
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Miu Hirano has a World Cup Title and an Asian Championship beating (ZYL, DN & CM) at the tournament yet still rated below both Mima Ito & Kasumi Ishikawa who neither have won those titles. Funny these standards teams set aye.

I'm sure the coaches closely watch these players and discuss amongst themselves their opinions, no doubt always honest with eachother and doing their duediligence. As mentioned not easy calls to make, think once play resumes players will be working extra hard to impress and convince the coaches they are worthy of Tokyo 2021, all teams to exception of Japanese teams who have already announced their squad.

Mi Hirano also has a WTTC bronze medal. He level has fallen quite a bit in competitive results since then but Japan is not China, in China, they would have figured our how to fix her by now.

You seem to think that you can make any argument to avoid the facts but the decline of Hirano is not the issue here. The issue here is whether Chen Meng is as reliable as her very reliable peers in competition. She has been one of my favorite female players since she won the WJTTC in 2011 I think. So what I don't get is why you are claiming double standards when I have pointed out how Li Xiaoxia and Liu Shiwen were similarly disregarded despite stronger records than Chen Meng. Any of the core women's team will do well at the Olympics. Chen Meng (with some notable exceptions but mostly at smaller tournaments) mostly loses to her compatriots.
 
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In a recent remote interview around May 17th, Ito picked the following 3 matches as most unforgettable.

The 1st one for realizing that missing could become the key to winning after this and this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oGN6-65N8I

The 2nd one for "getting nervous" in a match for the very first time, right before her serve at 10:8 in the 5th when the whole crowd fell silent. Her mental strength grew after that.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbV_I9Mvhxg

The 3rd one for knowing that she's gained strength in play and mind.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4xmUzAO5Ug

In another interview around May 8th, she said CM could "hit the deepest part of her heart, and her coach Ma Lin is outstanding. There is still some gap in strength."
 
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