China’s table tennis dominance continues as they took both men and women’s team titles the weekend. I watched most of the event with many thrilling matches, but I chose not to watch the final (I knew the outcome prior to the occasion).
The issue for Table Tennis:
Knowing the outcome is a big problem for our sport or any sport for that matter! For example, if I took a Ferrari and a Ford Focus on a track and announced to all my family and friends come and watch these two cars race, I’m pretty sure no one would be interested. Why, because common sense tells you the Ferrari will destroy the Ford and there’s no point in watching when you most likely know the final outcome. There needs to be uncertainty to increase players and viewers appetite.
China has dominated table tennis for nearly 20 years now and from an inside or outside perspective the joy of uncertainty has disappeared!
Some would say well what about someone like Usain Bolt who dominated sprinting for a decade? That was joyful to watch, yes but everyone knows that stint would only last for a decade at most and like any athlete, their time will pass. China keeps producing new table tennis superstars, so their dominance seems unstoppable unlike a top sportsman who’s rain will eventually end. China as a nation continues to dominate and their supremacy is unknown which means it’s down to us to do something about it.
Why does football as a sport do so well from a spectator’s and players point of view?
1. It’s simple to understand
2. The game has many elements of uncertainty, a team from the lower end of a division can beat a top end team.
3. Countries like Sweden, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, USA, Cameroon etc. Can all beat one another on a given day?
So how can China’s dominance be challenged?
1. Belief: Often I see TT players not believing that China can be beaten before they start they have lost!
2. Time: China seems to have a little gap which I’ve not seen before, only Fan Zhendong seems to be a new generational player. Could we see a small kink in 3-5 years, time or do they have some hidden stars ready to take Ma Long and Xu Xin’s place?
3. United: countries must unite in training regimes to push one another to higher levels.
It’s time to believe, unite and take this possible opportunity to break China’s stranglehold and dominance on our sport.
Written by Eli Baraty
eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)
Coach Me Table Tennis