China prefers “Mini Olympics” to Asian Table Tennis Championships – Do you know why?

If you are a table tennis player in China, there is hardly a quiet moment as the calendar remains filled with events lined up for the nation that dominates entirely and only the game of ping pong. Being the best is not easy and sometimes you have no choice but to choose which cards to play and the Chinese team have decided to do so by removing their names from the upcoming Asian Table Tennis Championships. Scheduled for Doha from September 28 to October 5, the biennial Continental Championships are undoubtedly a prestigious event and inevitably one where China leads the medal table by kilometers.

Instead of competing in the mainland event, Chinese paddlers chose to compete in the 14th China National Games, popularly known as the “Mini Olympics,” due to their usual quadrennial nature and the level of dangerous competition that took place. play outside. Having started on September 15 in Xi’an in China’s Shaanxi Province, the National Games will not end until September 27, making it difficult for Chinese paddlers to travel to Doha, given the quarantine restrictions.

What you need to know about the mini-Olympics (Source: Global Times)

Qin Zhijian, General Secretary of the China Table Tennis Association (CTTA) as well as the head coach of the men’s team does not think it is necessary for the paddlers to participate in the Asian tournament because it would be quite complicated. . After returning from their too successful stay in Tokyo, the Chinese table tennis team returned to their provincial teams to compete in the National Games and save their energies for the important World Championships and the China Table Tennis Super League. (CTTSL).

“As the National Games table tennis competition is September 17-26 and the Asian Championships begin September 28, there is limited intermission between the two tournaments. Considering international flights, that’s enough. difficult for the team to get to Qatar in time to participate, ”said Qin in August when the announcement was made by CTTA.

Chinese men's team after winning 2019 Asian TT Championships (Source: Xinhua / Du Yu)

Chinese men’s team after winning 2019 Asian TT Championships (Source: Xinhua / Du Yu)

China has won 128 gold medals at the Asian Championships since 1972, while second on the list, Japan has won just 14 gold medals. After having largely dominated the Asian TT circuit, the Chinese rowers do not regret having missed it. “There is a lot of risk in international travel during the pandemic, and all participants will have to undergo quarantine after the Asian Championships, which will affect our plan for upcoming tournaments, especially the World Championships,” he said. added Qin. “It will not benefit the development of our young players, and the men’s and women’s coaching groups have made the decision to withdraw from the Asian Championships for the sake of the team,” said Qin.

While controversies are rife in India regarding the squad for the Asian Table Tennis Championships after Manika Batra was left out, things look totally different in China which does not care about the Doha event and is focused rather on the home mini-Olympics.

The Chinese women's team won gold at the 2019 TT Asian Championships (Source: CGTN)

The Chinese women’s team won gold at the 2019 TT Asian Championships (Source: CGTN)

Li Sun, the head coach of the women’s team is all the more relaxed and stressed, “This serves as a qualification for the world team championships in Chengdu next year. We are already sure to have a place as the host of the tournament, “Li Sun. noted, justifying their absence from the Asian Championships.

The Chinese are staunch masters of table tennis, and making wise decisions is part of the mix. Qin said, “The first thing for players after completing their Olympic tasks is to adjust their physical fitness to prepare for National Games and World Championships. Therefore, it is the best choice for us to us. withdraw from the Asian Championships, ”he said. .

There are high expectations for the Chinese National Games because it is the breeding ground for fresh and raw talent. For a country that produced Ma Long, Fan Zhendong, Liu Shiwen and Ding Ning, hope for a new generation of table tennis talent remains as the quest for more medal-winning contenders is led to the Xi’an Games .

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