WTT Champions Frankfurt 2023

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How does "human rights" factor in the variance of resources available to the "free" Japan? Hirano, Hayata have coaches and partners there, how is that fair for the other players??

Why doesn't Shibata and others have that luxury, I thought it was a liberal heaven??

How is "rights" doing your compatriots in the Nigerian National Team any good.

The team explanation was that they were trying to bring up their next gen, they gave the same reasons at the Asian Games in Jakarta too, and a bunch of other competitions; even the Asian Cup last year. Of course you can dispute that but let's say this is solely an issue of rights? I'm stunned that you're feeling sad for Ma Long? I thought he had players and coaches serving him according to y'all, that wasn't an infringement on their rights, but when he was asked to help others come to the fore, suddenly his rights are being trampled upon??
Nice change of topic, but your refusal to acknowledge the main point is not doing you any favors. If you acknowledge that most countries would consider autocratically denying their top player a chance to play for history in order to develop the team to be an issue, then there is nothing to discuss. If you want to discuss that life is unfair after accepting that that is an issue, then we can do so. But if you can't even acknowledge that, then there is no point in discussing with people who think that arguing requires you not to acknowledge obvious facts.
 
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Oh, you you starting to believe it is true?? good progress :)
Builds a culture around individuals, youngers practice with oldest and grow to be world champions, seethes and dilates about clones. So they were clones but became world champions and Olympic champions? How sway?
 
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Nice change of topic, but your refusal to acknowledge the main point is not doing you any favors. If you acknowledge that most countries would consider autocratically denying their top player a chance to play for history in order to develop the team to be an issue, then there is nothing to discuss. If you want to discuss that life is unfair after accepting that that is an issue, then we can do so. But if you can't even acknowledge that, then there is no point in discussing with people who think that arguing requires you not to acknowledge obvious facts.
Okay, I acknowledge that China's culture focuses on the team's goals rather than the individuals. Your "ideal rights" is in no way superior to the Chinese's conception of it. It's a variance of human belief. Now can we discuss about the liberal heavens are chock full of inequality too or we're gonna be shush about that?
 
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It depends - let's remember that in China, there were years where this lady with short/medium pips on backhand and electric forehand would win the internal trials - Mu Zi - and she wouldn't be able to qualify to play. Eventually, they did let her play WTTC in 2017, but it is no urban legend, your style or supposedly attitude could disqualify you from being selected by coaches even if you objectively beat your opponents. At best, one can say the system has evolved or hasn't always been detrimental to developing juniors, but the idea it was an urban legend is ridiculous.

Mu Zi played in 2015 too and played mixed doubles twice at the Worlds. When was she blocked from participating??

It's obvious the system has evolved, many punitive measures of the past have been largely abandoned but folks will rather cling to the ghosts of the past because China bad.
 
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Okay, I acknowledge that China's culture focuses on the team's goals rather than the individuals. Your "ideal rights" is in no way superior to the Chinese's conception of it. It's a variance of human belief. Now can we discuss about the liberal heavens are chock full of inequality too or we're gonna be shush about that?
Oh, I never said it was superior. I was making the point that Tony was making that most national teams with an individual success focus in a sport like table tennis cannot create training clones to the degree that China did.

Every system has inequality and different notions of fairness, I am not arguing that one cannot have differnt notions of morality, but that when Tony says quite straightforwardly that most countries would struggle getting the level of talent China had to willingly accept its role as practice partners, he is not saying anything controversial. There are lots of players who within the ITTF rules/limits chose other paths. But making it sound like it is trivial or easy to invest in table tennis like China has, especially in market driven economies, is just ridiculous. Some of it is maintained by an ability to curtail player desires thatis not available in many countries.
 
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haha, okay, well, no fraction hey.
maybe zeio will entertain you. no use to waste my time digging old news for you.


Choose to believe it, choose not too.
It sure isn't my theory but what I was told from national team sources.
I think I first talked about this on this forum in 2016 or so.



haha. How many countries bring ineligible players with to be used as practice partners??
most I know, don't even have practice partners, and need to ask other countries eligible players to train with.
So why is the ineligible traveling and helping others? why isn't he training for himself to get better?? lol

any ways, you can believe what you want to believe and I will continue to talk what I know.
They're bruck.... And many of them don't care as much about TT.
 
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Mu Zi played in 2015 too and played mixed doubles twice at the Worlds. When was she blocked from participating??

It's obvious the system has evolved, many punitive measures of the past have been largely abandoned but folks will rather cling to the ghosts of the past because China bad.
It was probably 2015 I was thinking of to be honest, memory isn't always perfect. She won trials in earlier periods before 2015. I'm thinking of either 2011 or 2013, she was a contemporary of those ladies (Ding Ning, Li Xiaoxia, Guo Yue etc.) but was not selected even after beating some of them in trials.

Is 2021 Ma Long not being allowed to go for 4-peat a ghost? You really should be clear that the issue is more complicated than your pretense that it has evolved so much that the past is irrelevant is easy to show as ridiculous.
 
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Even Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu were clones FOR ATTC/WTTC in 2017 when they already broke out , but Mr I spoke to Chinese coaches say it's only 2/3 serving the one third. I'm sure Ma Long and FZD were clones too in their early years when they weren't the biggest of names, it's apparent that this was a passage of rites thing.

The fact that two or three players can be called to mimic a player means it's more likely they had a similar style to the foreign threat and they were told to help mimic that in training conditions.
I think the contention here is the term 模仿/imitation, which is more traditionally known as 陪練/sparring partners, and the moral issues that come with it, which is way overblown. The role of sparring partner has been a grand tradition of the CNT since ancient times.

Below are two articles from a month ahead of Rio 2016 on the sparring partners that helped the team prepare.

【人物】女乒陪练:模仿国乒对手的无名英雄们(1) / [Figures] Women's Team Sparring Partners: The Unsung Heroes who Imitate Opponents of the National Team (1)
https://sports.sina.cn/others/pingpang/2016-07-16/detail-ifxuapvs8584502.d.html
Gsixmrs.jpg


...

  他告诉笔者,2013年年底自己通过国家一二队交流赛后升入一队,获得的较好战绩包括去年青运会的男单铜牌,在半决赛时输给了最后的冠军王楚钦。此番来到成都,展开备战里约奥运的最后一次封闭训练,这对任浩来说并不陌生。“第五次了!我从2014年开始一直跟女队一起封闭训练,算是陪练里的元老级人物。”他笑着说。

  但聊起刚接到陪练任务时的心情,任浩坦言一度很受挫:“因为当时刚打上一队,一开始感觉挺打击的,后来每次封闭集训都过来,慢慢的适应了。从小接受队里教育,平时也会学习一些英雄人物。当然每个人都会有一些个人英雄主义,但是在我们这个国家还是无名英雄更多。”

  “既然国家赋予了这样的任务,我还是很心甘情愿地去承担。不能说是英雄吧,是默默付出的这种角色。陪练没有工资的,我跟女孩们的待遇一样,而这50天里我就是女队队员。”任浩的话语朴素真诚。

  回京后,他说就要开始属于自己的封闭训练:“会回到男队,跟男队一起训练,跟他们一起竞争。”未来则将会代表河南队,参加全国锦标赛、全运会等较量。

  还会继续陪练的身份吗?“如果队伍需要我的话,就会一直坚持下去。”任浩义不容辞地作答。

...

  而近期的训练里,严升的任务就是给金花们制造困难:“刚开始是模仿单晓娜,我的打法比较怪,可以锻炼到她们,给她们一点压力;到了后期就让我随便打,制造一些变扭的、没见过的球,可以对她们有帮助。”

  这位曾在2015年全国青年锦标赛获得第六名的小伙子,很感谢陪练这一新角色:“我刚进国家二队,才两三个月左右的时间。现在的模仿也是一种学习,可以教会我经验等很多东西。”

  不过,问起以后队里是否还会要求他做陪练时,心里有着鸿鹄之志的严升,霸气回应说:“有可能,因为我的正手本来就是特殊打法。但我肯定不愿意,所以自己要更加加油,才能不只是当陪练。”
He told the author that at the end of 2013, he was promoted to the first team after passing the national first and second team exchange competition (promotion/demotion). His good results include the men's singles bronze medal at last year's National Youth Games, where he lost to the eventual champion Wang Chuqin in the semifinal. Coming to Chengdu this time to start the last closed training in preparation for the Rio Olympics is not unfamiliar to Ren Hao. "This is the fifth time! I have been training with the women's team in closed training since 2014, and I am considered a veteran as sparring partners." He said with a smile.

But when talking about his mood when he first received the task, Ren Hao admitted that he was very frustrated: "Because I had just joined the first team at that time, it felt quite shocking at first. Later, I came to every closed training camp and slowly adapted. I have accepted it since I was a child through education in the team, where we usually learn about some heroes. Of course, everyone has some personal heroism, but in our country there are still more unsung heroes."

"Since the country has given me such a task, I am still willing to take it on. I can't say that I am a hero, but I am a role that gives silently. Sparring partners do not get paid, and I am treated the same as the girls. And in these 50 days, I am a member of the women's team." Ren Hao's words were simple and sincere.

After returning to Beijing, he said that he would start his own closed training: "I will return to the men's team, train with the men's team, and compete with them." In the future, he will represent the Henan team to participate in national championships, National Games, etc.

Will you continue to be a sparring partner? "If the team needs me, I will stick to it." Ren Hao answered obligingly.

...

In the recent training, Yan Sheng's task is to create difficulties for the Golden Flowers: "At the beginning, I imitated Shan Xiaona. My playing style is quite strange, which can train them and put a little pressure on them; in the later stage, I can just do whatever I want, creating some tricky, unfamiliar balls can help them.”

The young man who finished sixth in the 2015 National Youth Championship is very grateful for his new role as a sparring partner: "I have just joined the second national team for about two or three months. Imitation is also a kind of learning. It taught me a lot of things such as experience.”

However, when asked if the team would ask him to be a sparring partner in the future, Yan Sheng, who has great ambitions in his heart, responded domineeringly: "It's possible, because my forehand is a special style of play. But I definitely don't want to, so I have to work harder so that I can be more than just a sparring partner.”

【人物】女乒陪练:模仿国乒对手的无名英雄们(2)
https://sports.sina.cn/others/pingpang/2016-07-17/detail-ifxuapvs8635891.d.html
何卓佳:模仿福原爱1年4个月

...

“我的打法风格跟长胶相似,教练和队里应该也是经过很多很多的考虑,我才很荣幸的被选中了。但当时我有点犹豫,爸爸跟我说要听从队里的安排,祖国需要你。他很开明的,也是想让我多尝试下新东西,现在看来真是很有远见。”在家人的鼓励下,去年女队备战苏州世乒赛前一个月,何卓佳迎来全新挑战。
如何才能模拟好福原爱?何卓佳的方法是:多看、多问、多研究。

为此她没少麻烦跟福原爱交过手的主力队员,拷贝他们录制的比赛录像,跟教练队友一起交流琢磨。“得先去了解福原爱,了解她的打法风格。这个球如果是福原爱的话,她会怎么打?这个主力跟我说一点,那个主力跟我说一点……时间长了,出手、包括一些球的感觉慢慢地从生胶变成长胶。”

起初,何卓佳很感兴趣,但新鲜劲一过却摸不到门道的她开始变得烦躁。好在小小年纪,已经懂得如何调节心态:“不光是练颗粒才会这样啊,每个打法都会有的。”
同时,昔日的福原爱模仿者、已退役的哈尔滨选手王璇,也成了何卓佳请教的对象:“璇姐是我师父!她是很资深的前辈,她的长胶打得太好了。刚改的时候,一遇到困难,我的第一反应就是去找她,通过打电话、微信,只要见到就跟她聊,能多问一点是一点。”考虑到福原爱使用的特制胶皮独一无二,她还尝试过四款不同的海绵,“然后去问主力哪个更像一点。”

不仅如此,她还会不自觉地去留意生活里的福原爱:“要越相似越好,这样才能更像她,才能给主力创造更大的困难。”

点点滴滴的积累,让何卓佳终于在奔赴成都封闭集训前如愿找到了感觉:“在思维方式上,我毕竟我打了快十年的生胶。改了一年的时候还有点陌生,到了一年两个月的时候开始觉得不一样了。现在更多的是心理,慢慢地与长胶融为一体。比如天气变潮,颗粒会打滑,那就弧线多一点。”
只是,对于在2012年世界少年锦标赛上,勇夺团体、单打、双打三枚金牌的何卓佳而言,为了“成就”他人,冒险改变自己,会觉得这是在牺牲吗?笔者抛出了一个稍显敏感的问题。

17岁何卓佳的回答,让人改变成见:“看你怎么去想,任何事情都有两面性。一直往负面情绪去想的话,到最后还是要打这个。多往好处想想,这样才会更积极。”
不光是阿Q的精神胜利法,至少在她身上,此番“里约大冒险”是成功的。“虽然是模仿,但是给了我很多机会呀,我可以跟一队的主力一起训练。像我这种位置带着我的话,拽着拽着(水平)就上去了,练生胶的话这些是不敢想的。换长胶后,我接触到了很多很多以前从来没有接触过的东西,像是对旋转、对颗粒的理解……对我来说是一种突破,是一种进步,不是牺牲的感觉。”何卓佳说。

...

孔令辉:不会强制 当陪练不一定是坏事

女队主教练接受新浪体育专访时,介绍起了备战里约的整体规模。除参赛的四位主力选手李晓霞、丁宁、刘诗雯和朱雨玲之外,后期为了针对海外兵团里倪夏莲的长胶打法以及帮助姑娘们加强对削球旋转的判断,又多加了两位陪练:“在成都差不多有32个运动员。”

如何选拔队员成为陪练,或者确定他们的模拟对象?孔令辉教练分享道:“是教练组讨论决定的,主要是看谁更接近。让他们看看需要模拟对手的技术录像,主要是从技战术、线路上(来模拟)。”
发挥集体的优势,为有需要的尖子选手甘当绿叶,孔令辉教练说这也是国乒强盛的优良传统之一:“几十年下来的传统,有些运动员也做出了一些牺牲,但是有的时候他们换一种胶皮和打法也并不一定就是坏事,对他们来讲也是学习的过程。”

以模拟福原爱的何卓佳为例,在孔令辉教练看来,不论是对队伍还是个人都算得上是成功案例:“以前有个王璇,她退役后,由何卓佳来适应一下这个位置,属于生胶改半长胶。两种胶皮的性能有差距,但并不是反胶改成长胶那样,那就没法练了。生胶最起码有这种感觉,练一练很快就能适应。而且到目前为止,何卓佳的球反倒长了!大家都认为她比以前球更稳,无谓失误更少了。”
另一位日本强敌伊藤美诚的模仿者——木子和张瑞,则有针对性地进行了不同程度的改变:“没有让木子刻意去模仿,她的胶皮也没有换;二队的张瑞,让她去换了胶皮。海绵厚了点,质量反倒更高了。虽然不是说进步非常大,但杀伤力方面明显有提高。”

至于里约奥运会后,这些女乒陪练将何去何从,孔令辉教练表示同样要因人而异:“像何卓佳应该不会中断,因为她的进步很明显,何必再换回去呢?但张瑞因为她的胶皮国家队很少,生胶总是坏,可能她是需要调回去的。”

“让他们去调试,去更换,教练不会强制去要求他们,也是有一个适应的过程。适应得了,就换;适应不了,就不要强求。以前也有队员不适应又换回来的。对他们自己、对他们的省市队,我们也要负责任的呀。”他不由笑了起来。

聆听这几则女乒陪练们的故事后,会发现比起“一将功成万骨枯”、比起“牺牲”,用“大胆尝试”、“共同进步”这样的形容词,放在“陪练”这个身份前会更加恰当。
从男队调配过来的男陪练,同样适用国乒人性化的选拔和训练机制。

“陈玘就在女队当过陪练,最后也打成了世界冠军、奥运冠军;包括更早的郭跃华,更不用说了,蝉联世锦赛男单冠军。并不是说到女队是(牺牲),有的在女队练完回去后反倒进步了。”孔令辉教练如是总结道。
He Zhuojia: Imitating Fukuhara Ai for 1 year and 4 months

...

"My playing style is similar to longpips. The coach and the team must have considered it a lot before I was honored to be selected. But I was a little hesitant at the time. My father told me to follow the team's arrangements. The motherland needs you. He is very open-minded and wants me to try new things. Now it seems that he is really far-sighted." With the encouragement of her family, He Zhuojia faced a new challenge one month before the women's team prepared for the WTTC Suzhou last year.

How to simulate Fukuhara Ai well? He Zhuojia’s method is: look more, ask more, and research more.

For this reason, she bothered the main players who had played against Fukuhara Ai, copied their game videos, and discussed them with the coaches and teammates. "You have to first get to know Fukuhara Ai and her playing style. If this ball were played by Fukuhara Ai, how would she hit it? This main player told me a little bit, and that main player told me a little bit... As time goes by, the shots, including the feeling of some of the balls slowly changed from raw pips to long pips.”

At first, He Zhuojia was very interested, but when the freshness wore off and she couldn't figure out the way, she began to become irritable. Fortunately, at a young age, I already knew how to adjust my mentality: "It's not just about practicing pips, it happens in every play style."
At the same time, Wang Xuan, the former Fukuhara Ai imitator and retired Harbin player, has also become the target of He Zhuojia: "Sister Xuan is my master! She is a tried-and-true senior, and she plays long pips well. At first when I made the switch, when I encountered difficulties, my first reaction was to go to her, to call her, WeChat, to chat with her whenever I saw her, and to ask more questions." Considering that the custom rubber used by Fukuhara Ai is unique, she also tried four different sponges, “and then asked the main player which one was more similar.”

Not only that, she would unconsciously pay attention to Fukuhara Ai in life: "The more similar I am, the better, so that I can be more like her and create greater difficulties for the main players."

Accumulating bit by bit, He Zhuojia finally found the feeling she wanted before going to Chengdu for a closed training camp: "In terms of the way of thinking, after all, I have been playing raw pips for almost ten years. It was still a bit unfamiliar after a year. Two months into the second year, I started to feel different. Now it’s more about psychology, slowly integrating with the long pips. For example, if the weather becomes damp and the pips would slip, then there would be more curve.”
However, for He Zhuojia, who won three gold medals in team, singles and doubles at the WJTTC 2012, does it feel like a sacrifice to take risks and change oneself in order to "achieve" for others? The author raised a slightly sensitive question.

The answer of 17-year-old He Zhuojia changes people's stereotypes: "It depends on how you think about it. Everything has two sides. If you keep thinking about negative emotions, you will still have to deal with it in the end. Think more about the good things, so that you will be more positive.”
Not only was the spirit of Ah Q, but at least for her, this "Rio Adventure" was a success. "Although it is an imitation, it has given me a lot of opportunities. I can train with the main players of the first team. If they take me in a position like mine, they can drag me up (level). If I practiced raw pips, these are things I would not have dared to think. After switching to long pips, I came into contact with many things that I had never been exposed to before, such as the understanding of rotation and pips... It is a breakthrough for me, a kind of progress, not a sacrifice." said He Zhuojia.

Kong Linghui: Not Mandatory, sparring partner is not necessarily a bad thing

In an exclusive interview with Sina Sports, the head coach of the women's team introduced the overall scale of preparations for Rio. In addition to the four main players Li Xiaoxia, Ding Ning, Liu Shiwen and Zhu Yuling, two more sparring partners were added later in order to target Ni Xialian’s long pips in the overseas legion and to help the girls strengthen their judgment on the spin of the ball: "There are almost 32 athletes in Chengdu."

How to select team members to become sparring partners, or determine their target of imitation? Coach Kong Linghui shared: "The coaching staff discuss and decide, mainly to see who is closer. Let them see the technical videos of opponents that need to be imitated, mainly (to imitate) the technique, tactics and shot paths."
Giving full play to the collective advantages and being a green leaf for top players in need, coach Kong Linghui said that this is also one of the fine traditions of the national table tennis team: "In the tradition of decades, some athletes have also made some sacrifices, but sometimes it’s not necessarily a bad thing if they change their rubber and playing style, it’s also a learning process for them.”

Take He Zhuojia, who imitated Fukuhara Ai, as an example. According to coach Kong Linghui, it is a success story both for the team and for the individual: "There was player named Wang Xuan. After she retired, He Zhuojia had to adapt to this position. She played raw pips and swtiched to medium pips. There is a difference in performance between the two rubbers, but it is not like changing from inverted to long pips, then you will not be able to practice. Raw pips at least has this feeling, and you will get used to it quickly after practicing. And So far, He Zhuojia’s game has actually improved! Everyone thinks that she is more stable than before and she makes fewer unforced errors.”
Muzi and Zhang Rui, another two imitators of Japan’s strong enemy Ito Mima, made targeted changes to varying degrees: “Muzi was not asked to deliberately imitate, and her rubber was not changed; we asked Zhang Rui from the second team to change the rubber. The sponge is thicker, but the quality is actually higher. Although it is not a huge improvement, the lethality has obviously improved."

As for where these female table tennis sparring partners will go after the Rio Olympics, coach Kong Linghui said that it also depends on the individuals: "For someone like He Zhuojia, there should be no interruption, because her progress is obvious, why bother to send her back? But for Zhang Rui, because her rubber is rare and the national team does not stock, and the rubber always goes bad, so maybe she needs to be transferred back."

"Let them adjust and change. The coach will not force them. There is also a process of adaptation. If you can adapt to it, change it; if you can't adapt, don't force it. In the past, there were players who didn't adapt and changed back. We must also be responsible for them and their provincial and municipal teams." He couldn't help but laugh.

After listening to these stories of female table tennis sparring partners, you will find that instead of "one general succeeds and ten thousand bones dry up" and "sacrifice", adjectives such as "bold attempt" and "common progress" are more appropriate in front of the term "sparring partners".

Male sparring partners assigned from the men’s team are also subject to the humanized selection and training mechanism of the national table tennis team.

"Chen Qi served as a sparring partner for the women's team and eventually became a World Champion and Olympic Champion; including Guo Yuehua from further back, not to mention he won the men's singles at the WTTC. It's not that going to the women's team is (sacrifice), some actually improved after returning from the women's team." Coach Kong Linghui concluded.
 
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It was probably 2015 I was thinking of to be honest, memory isn't always perfect.

Is 2021 Ma Long not being allowed to go for 4-peat a ghost? You really should be clear that the issue is more complicated than your pretense that it has evolved so much that the past is irrelevant is easy to show as ridiculous.
Ma Long was served by team members to be champion, And he had to serve also in 2021. What's the big deal? Do you see the team's concern about developing new talents that Ma Long had to sit out a couple of tournaments as ridiculous? I'm sure Ma Lin and Wang Hao sat during their time too.
 
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On the issue of human rights, here is a New York Times article from 1978 that has aged well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJz2yTMGqXk
But in China, there seems to be utterly natural acceptance of the age-old Confucian tradition of subordinating individual liberty to collective obligation, for example, to the family. So here may be clue to what deep in the imagination of Chinese everywhere is their moral equivalent to the indivdual human rights that Americans believe are sanctified by the Holy Bible, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights in our Constitution.
 
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Ma Long was served by team members to be champion, And he had to serve also in 2021. What's the big deal? Do you see the team's concern about developing new talents that Ma Long had to sit out a couple of tournaments as ridiculous? I'm sure Ma Lin and Wang Hao sat during their time too.
Again, it is not so much about the morality of what happened, but that the ability to be able to curtail individual aspirations in that way (outside of some family contexts) is not available to most people who subscribe to modern classical liberal notions of fairness. So when Tony says that Lin Yun Ju cannot get access to practice partners who will spend a substantial amount of their time mimicking Ma Long just to make sure he can be ready to beat and respond to Ma Long quickly when they next play, it shouldn't be just dismissed as if this is plain ridiculous, it should be accepted as one of the things that makes it harder to compete with China, legal or not.
 
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Thanks Zeio. I know you will have the time to dig up that imitation is not a myth or urban legend.
It is still unbelieved in most parts of the world, because it is just not norm on how CNT does it to the scale.

One of the Chinese coaches told me, some players is destined to be a "main character" (主角) while the others will only be a "supporting role" (配角).
This is after I was talking about some younger ones in the CNT and some other that are older in the team but isn' making progress, and he was hinting they would only be supporting roles for the rest of their career in the CNT.

I've met players in many national teams that are outside of the main 5 and they are there as fair a national team members and not some lower valued team member.

I think if CNT was to call it a 10 man national team, with 20 man support staff (training partner) team, them maybe that would be fair.
but to call all 20 odd of them as national (first) team members, but over half of them is to support others who have more worth than you....well, I don't see how that is a democratic society.

Well, back to the school example, this is like the kids that get put in groups, but the WCQ of the bunch gets the award, with the rest of the team just get told - do it for your team, your country - well done, but you won't be awarded for your hard work in the "group" preparation but you can be called "1st team member".

PS - I didn't know they didn't get paid extra to be a practice partner... now that is just sour if they are told to do it, and then for free too....
Lin had to hire practice partners himself.... atleast the 2 or 3 of them he hires get paid.

any ways, urban legend, or what. CNT has become a lot more "humane" for sure, but as I was pointing out, CNT is a team centric approach while every other place is a individual player centric approach.
China's approach doesn't work for all sporting codes. and the rest of the words approach does work for other sporting codes and I do believe CNT approach in TT is near impossible to mimic beyond its own country, and that is also due to laws and how it is governed.
Japan using those dollars on individual player centric from 2013 is a clear example to me that even with the money, they won't do the same thing.

PS. there is a lot of good and bad things in CNT that isn't on the news.
People know that CNT asked Chen Jing to loose and she didn't, so she was fired and then she went to play for Taiwan.
But did you know, because of Chen Jing's refusal, they also fired 2 other players that was close to Chen Jing? One of them played for Taiwan too, the other went to play for USA and is the current head coach there.
Chen Jing was asked to throw a match... CNT never ever got punished by ITTF for having such policies in place.
 
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Existence of practice partners is a fact and part of the CNT culture, and it is precisely what makes them so strong - they're very well prepared against most styles. But I think it is not unfair, since there are highly limited spots for a lot of the main events for eg Olympics or WTTC. The lack of opportunities is cruel but you have to blame ITTF for always trying to limit participation numbers, and TT not having a structure like tennis which allows for all players to get a fair go at it (a lot of ATP tours and 4 grand slam events a year). WTT is a step towards the right direction to deemphasize the WTTC and Olympics and allows for more players to shine.

Zhang Jike admitted that he used to be a practice partner for the main 3 players (WLQ, Wang Hao, Ma Lin), but this didn't stop him from becoming a grand slam champion. CNT is still a meritocracy, if you prove yourself by beating everyone else, you will be in the main team. There's probably some corruption but in general the strongest players are representing the team. For eg Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin are the main team players because their track records are the best.
 
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WTT is a step towards the right direction to deemphasize the WTTC and Olympics and allows for more players to shine.

This is the first time I see someone compliment WTT....
WTT is the worse "tournament" system ever. From short notice events/change of dates, not follow their own rules, changing points structures and what not, I think the worse is, over crowding of events, especially overlapping too. Not to mention majority of the events comes with little ranking points and little prize money, ie should you finish first place, it will cost you more to enter (WTT entry fees) than the prize money you win.

TT should focus on 80% club models and 20% major competitions
 
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Table tennis has a long history as a political tool. The backstory of Boros is no different here - she needed a place to stay and Croatia needed someone to gain international recognition. It's similar to how China started, where Rong Guotuan refused to play for British Hong Kong and chose to represent mainland China, which needed something to gain international recognition.

https://youtu.be/MC7IpAD10vw?t=619
Tamara Boros: At that moment I wasn't leaving because of my career. It was a matter of saving our lives because they wanted to recruit my father and the war was beginning... In retrospect, after the 20 years of my career, I think that my parents and I made a very courageous move when we packed one suitcase, left Senta and everything my parents worked all their life for, to [start] anew. That life drama, if I may say so, that life journey ended in the best possible way. I managed to help my family with my career. But there's always that question of sacrificing family life for the career.

https://youtu.be/MC7IpAD10vw?t=1883
Ivo Goran Munivrana: "Maybe it's not appropriate to speak of sport and Croatian Sports Association at the times when we were fighting for our existence, but sport was part of that struggle too. Those years are characterized by our attempts to gain European recognition of Croatian table tennis."
Antun Vrdoljak: "It was very important that Tamara plays for us because she was a great potential. It was clear that she had all the predispositions for a good table tennis player. It was very important to get someone like her on our team because in those years sport was the only way of affirming our independence."

https://youtu.be/2l4-cgZssZI?t=1406
From a recording of Rong Mianzhi in 1970: "Having been cultivated by the country, I (Rong Guotuan) am very grateful. And they asked, will you face any difficulties once your son moves back to the mainland? I said no. Patriotic action is unconditional. It’s not patriotic if there are conditions."

中国新闻周刊:中国乒乓之变 从“让球”到“竞球”(图) / China News Weekly: China Table Tennis changes from "sandbagging" to "competing (with Images)"
http://news.sohu.com/20070417/n249487948.shtml
  作为国球,乒乓球曾在很长时间以来承担着不同于其他项目的特殊使命,乒乓世界冠军的涵义也因此变得不简单。如今,中国乒乓球正在逐步走出这个特殊的“光环”,变得纯粹

...

  乒乓选拔机制变了

...

  刘国梁曾表示,大循环目的就是检验主力队员的综合能力,尤其是针对抗压能力、心理素质;他还首次引入了6分制,赛程安排上也尽量贴近世锦赛。但因为有外卡的存在,教练其实在人员指定上,还握有比较大的主动权。所以,许多媒体仍然认为,声势浩大的大循环稍有“做秀”之嫌。并没有摆脱比赛成绩,加教练决定的老套路。

  在他们看来,其实在循环赛之前,往往教练心里早已有了主力阵容的雏形。这种选拔加推荐形式,实际上就是要确保这个阵容万无一失。

  尽管如此,这还是运动员选拔手段的一次大胆尝试。这之前很长时间以来,中国乒乓球的参赛人员名单都由教练组根据运动员国内国外比赛的成绩,结合队员的心理素质和状态来商定。这其间的分寸把握,教练具有生杀予夺的大权。

  “国球”承受之重

...

  中国的第一个世界冠军产生于乒乓球。1959年第25届德国多特蒙德世乒赛,中国选手容国团一举夺得男单冠军,从此,世界冠军的神秘大门向中国人打开了。消息传来,举国欢腾,中国人的自信心得到了空前的刺激。夺冠归国后,容国团受到了毛主席、周总理等国家领导人的亲自接见,这是当时运动员受到的最高礼遇。从此奠定了其国球的地位。

  1971年,美国乒乓球队受邀来京访问,小球转动大世界,乒乓外交的成功,使得乒乓球在此后几年里成了功效奇特的外交工具。此后,中国还举行过几次亚非拉乒乓球友谊赛,靠小小白球拉近了和亚非拉国家的关系。

  乒乓球也由此奠定了在所有运动项目中非常特殊的地位。每一次夺取世界比赛冠军的意义,也不像其他项目那么简单。

  乒乓球在那个年代的特殊性和重要性,曾被集中体现在一个神秘的细节中——让球。而同为优势项目,羽毛球等其他的项目因为不具备这样的政治需求,“让球”的影响也小很多。

  “让球”成为过去式

  亲历乒乓外交的前国手梁戈亮在他的自述里说到:在比赛中,我们还经常让球,现在看来,大家可能不理解,但是当时让球也是为了国家利益,或者是乒乓外交的需要,是发展对外交往的需要。

...

  当时中国乒乓球水平仍处于爬坡阶段,依靠打法相克,培养秘密武器,是险中求胜的一招棋。在那个国家和集体荣誉远远高于个人利益的年代,教练的这个做法在队员中得到了默认性服从。

  直到1987年,在新德里第39届世乒赛上的那次“让球风波”,不但把始作俑者何智丽推到了舆论的风口浪尖,也使大家开始重新讨论“让球”对于运动员及国家利益该如何轻重平衡。比赛中的个人利益开始被舆论谨慎地讨论。

...

  随着中国乒乓球整体实力的进一步加强,和个人技术的全面化,“让球”,在国际大赛的中国乒乓队员中慢慢减少了。

  首先,随着国际大赛的增多,以往所谓的秘密武器很难奏效了,像过去依靠削球手,出奇兵的策略没有了施展的余地。过去的队员可以两年不露面,就为了准备一次世锦赛,现在看来是很难想象的。

  此外,现在运动员的能力和技战术水平与以往相比,更加全面,球员间的对抗充满变数。想和以前一样,依靠安排打法相克的队员取胜,实属不易,搞不好会弄巧成拙。

  另一方面,过去的运动员只是按期领工资,待遇差别不大,且让球的运动员在回国后,队里会给予相对应的补偿。而如今运动员除了可以通过世界比赛的金牌可以获得数目不菲的奖金外,还可以得到更多的冠军效应和商业机会,因此队员们都更加珍惜每一次可以证明自己的世界大赛的机会。队内大循环比赛成绩和参赛名单直接挂钩,虽然也存有诸多质疑,但目前看来还是最公平的竞争方法。尤其是在乒羽等人才济济的优势项目中,选拔方式的公开、透明,尤其对年轻运动员来说,至少多一份证实实力的机会。
As a national sport, table tennis has had a special mission different from other sports for a long time, and the meaning of a table tennis World Champion has therefore become more complex. Nowadays, China table tennis is gradually walking out of this special "halo" and becoming pure.

...

The table tennis selection ssytem has changed

...

Liu Guoliang once said that the purpose of the huge round-robin is to test the comprehensive ability of the main players, especially the ability to withstand pressure and psychological quality; he also introduced a 6-point scoring system for the first time, and the schedule is as close as possible to the World Championships. But because of the existence of wild cards, coaches actually have a relatively large initiative in appointing players. Therefore, many media still believe that the huge round-robin is a bit of a show. It doesn’t get rid of the old routine of match results plus coach’s decisions.

In their view, in fact, before the round-robin, the coaches often already have the prototype of the main lineup in mind. This format of selection plus recommendation is actually to ensure that the lineup is foolproof.

Despite this, this is still a bold attempt at player selection. For a long time before this, the list of China table tennis participants was determined by the coaching staff based on the athletes' results in domestic and foreign competitions, as well as the players' psychological quality and status. With proper control of this situation, the coaches have the power over life and death.

The heavy burden on the "national sport"

...

China's first World Champion was born in table tennis. At the 25th World Table Tennis Championships in Dortmund, Germany, in 1959, Chinese player Rong Guotuan won the men's singles in one fell swoop. From then on, the mysterious door to the World Championship was opened to the Chinese. When the news came, the whole country rejoiced, and the Chinese people's self-confidence was unprecedentedly stimulated. Upon returning home after winning the championship, Rong Guotuan was personally received by Chairman Mao, Premier Zhou and other national leaders. This was the highest courtesy an athlete received at that time. Since then, its status as a national sport has been established.

In 1971, the American table tennis team was invited to visit Beijing. The small ball turned the big world. The success of ping pong diplomacy made table tennis a unique diplomatic tool in the following years. Since then, China has held several friendly table tennis matches in Asia, Africa and Latin America, using small white balls to draw closer relations with Asian, African and Latin American countries.

Table tennis has thus established a very special position among all sports. The meaning of winning every world championship is not as simple as other events.

The particularity and importance of table tennis in that era were once concentrated in a mysterious detail - "sandbagging". However, other sports such as badminton, which are also advantageous sports, do not have such political needs, so the impact of "sandbagging" is much smaller.

"Sandbagging" becomes a thing of the past

Liang Geliang, a former national player who has personally experienced ping pong diplomacy, said in his autobiography: During the match, we often sandbagged. People may not understand nowadays, but at that time, sandbagging was also out of national interests or the needs of ping pong diplomacy. It was needed to develop foreign relations.

...

At that time, the level of China table tennis was still on the upswing. Relying on play-style match-ups and cultivating secret weapons were a risky way to win. In an era when national and collective honor far exceeded personal interests, the coach's approach gained tacit obedience among the players.

Until 1987, the "sandbagging incident" at the 39th World Table Tennis Championships in New Delhi not only pushed the instigator He Zhili to the forefront of public opinion, but also caused everyone to begin to re-discuss how "sandbagging" affects the balance of interests between the athletes and the country. Personal interests in competition began to be discussed cautiously by public opinion.

...

With the further strengthening of the overall strength of China table tennis and the comprehensive improvement of individual skills, "sandbagging" has gradually decreased among Chinese table tennis players in international competitions.

First of all, with the increase in international competitions, it is difficult for the so-called secret weapons in the past to work. Like in the past, relying on choppers, there is no room for the strategy of surprise players. It seems unimaginable now that players in the past go into hiding for two years just to prepare for a World Championship.

In addition, the abilities and technical and tactical levels of athletes are now more comprehensive than in the past, and the confrontation between players is full of variables. It is not easy to win by arranging players with play-style match-ups like before, and it may be self-defeating.

On the other hand, athletes in the past only received their wages on a regular basis, with little difference in treatment, and the team would provide corresponding compensation to the players who sandbagged after returning to the country. Nowadays, in addition to receiving huge bonuses through gold medals in world competitions, athletes can also get more champion effects and sponsorships. Therefore, team members cherish every opportunity to prove themselves in world competitions. The results of the team's huge round-robin are directly linked to the entry list. Although there are many doubts, it seems to be the fairest method currently. Especially in advantageous sports such as table tennis and badminton where there are many talents, the selection method is open and transparent, especially for young athletes, at least one more opportunity to prove their strength.
 
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Really interesting debate and thanks for talking on the subject - Im not really sure what the conflict is in opinions. But what is clear is that the CNT is a massive machine that (even though TT is in decline in Asia) it still is huge compared to every other NT and have a wealth of resources.
The cycling analogy is interesting as there are rider that dedicate themselves to a 'leader' to win the overall prize. (lets not get into the doping aspect :)) But they aren't changing a style or equipment to mimic others - as the sport doesn't work that way. That being said Team Sky dominated cycling for a good period of time down to training, resources (bigger contracts, could pick and choose who they wanted in the team) and different race tactics - that were a totally new approach at the time. Over the years the other teams have found ways to count that or do it also (mimic) those tactics.
 
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Really interesting debate and thanks for talking on the subject - Im not really sure what the conflict is in opinions. But what is clear is that the CNT is a massive machine that (even though TT is in decline in Asia) it still is huge compared to every other NT and have a wealth of resources.
The cycling analogy is interesting as there are rider that dedicate themselves to a 'leader' to win the overall prize. (lets not get into the doping aspect :)) But they aren't changing a style or equipment to mimic others - as the sport doesn't work that way. That being said Team Sky dominated cycling for a good period of time down to training, resources (bigger contracts, could pick and choose who they wanted in the team) and different race tactics - that were a totally new approach at the time. Over the years the other teams have found ways to count that or do it also (mimic) those tactics.
Is Team Sky a national team?

I think with national team is, you think of it as representing your country.
If you are hire by Team Lin Yunju, then that is a bit different to promote into the national team, but then, to become his assistant (and then not get paid for the work of being an assistant)

But I guess, someone is paying the team sky cyclist and the CNT players. No different to someone paying the bench players in NBA.

Never the less, table tennis is on the decline in China where fulling stadiums became a problem even before covid 19 hit.
and that is not good.
 
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