|Chinese Dominance Continues in Table Tennis|
While all this effort is being made to prevent China from winning everything, one simple thing is forgotten. They are the best because they wanted to be. They created the perfect system for making their players the best in the world, their players train from a very young age and dedicate their youth to the sport. There are so many players in China that it is highly competitive and the players have to give everything to be the best, and even then so, some are not successful.
The ones who do make it are still under a constant state of pressure to perform in order to remain at the top and have to earn every chance to become champions. Now the ITTF have further narrowed the chances for the world's most hard working players to achieve the reward they deserve.
Other nations have extended dominance in the sport. Hungary won the Men's Team title on 12 occasions, the closest to China's 19. Japan and Sweden also had periods of dominance in the sport. No attempt was ever made to reduce those great nations, instead other nations worked harder. China was the nation to emerge from those other nations. Just as China rose to defeat other dominant nations, the rest of the World must rise to defeat China.
The approach of Sharara and ITTF is all wrong. We should be focusing our time and resources on providing opportunity for the growth of table tennis and for development outside of China so that the other nations can develop their players to be more competitive. What is the real benefit of making it easier for other countries to win? What is the cost to China of these restrictions? Is it fair to effectively sanction the hardest working players in our sport?
These are all the things which have clearly been overlooked during the construction of this grand idea. I think the way to beat China is to share the same passion as them, to share the same dedication. There is only one way for that to happen. Table Tennis needs to become a professional sport. It needs to be viable for players to make a living from playing table tennis across the globe, that way their commitment early in life is justified. Now there is no reason for players outside of China to give up school to train as table tennis is not a lucrative or supported career choice.
This is what the real focus needs to be on, table tennis needs to work towards this end. Would love to hear the thoughts of everyone on this topic so please feel free to comment below.