Top 3 Strongest Countries in Table Tennis

Introduction After doing some research, we came up with the top 3 strongest countries in table tennis: China, Japan, and Germany.  This article aims to shed light on the most popular countries in table tennis, showing their achievements and spectacular players through time. Why is China the best at table tennis? Why is table tennis so popular in Asia? Which country dominates the Olympics? Here is a closer look at why these countries are so strong in table tennis. 1. CHINA China has been winning in table tennis competitions since the 1950s in the Summer Olympics. It is the top country, or rather, the strongest state in table tennis. China is ranked number one by ITTF. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China emerged as the winner of all six medals. During the first-ever Olympic Games in Seoul, China took home 53 medals; 28 gold, 17 silver, and 8 bronze. They made a good start and have managed to maintain the top position for many years. China also won all the Gold medals in the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, Beijing Olympics in 2008, London Olympics in 2012, and Rio in 2016. Based on the current ranking results, China has won 85.7% of the gold medals in table tennis. That is why they are considered the champions. Many remarkable and talented Chinese players have managed to put the country in the limelight. One of them is Deng Yaping, who won both singles and doubles securing gold medals at the 1992 Olympics. She also hit the same milestone at the 1996 Olympics. Yaping is the first Chinese athlete to win 4 Olympic table tennis gold medals. Statistics show that nearly 1% (0.72%) of the 1.4 billion population of Chinese play table tennis occasionally. Being part of ITTF, China has the most number of players practicing table tennis. The top 3 players in the world are all Chinese. They are Fan Zhendong, Ma Long, and Xu Xin.  Ma Long earned the greatest table tennis player of all-time title. He got the double grand slam title by becoming the champion in two Olympic Games in a row: the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics, winning several World Table Tennis Championships and World Cups. Grand Slam Winners According to ITTF regulations, for a player to secure the grand slam title, they must have won a gold medal in an Olympic Game, World Cup table tennis, and a World Table Tennis Championship (WTTC). A double grand slam is when a player wins the grand slam twice. Similarly, Zhang Yining is the only double grand slam winner for the female players. Only 10 players have achieved the grand slam title till today, of which 9 are Chinese players. The country also has very strong national ladies’ and men’s teams. The men’s team has won the singles championship in the Olympic Games 6 times in history, breaking the record. It was formed in 1952, and it officially represented the country in international competitions. The ladies’ national team won all the women’s singles championships of the WTTC from 1971 to 1989. They also set a record for the most consecutively won women’s championships from the 33rd to the 40th WTTC. China is also well-known for its best table tennis coaches. They have immense knowledge and skills in table tennis, and they have been training some of the best players in China. With no doubt that the country has truly invested in table tennis. China is still hitting more milestones today than ever in the table tennis world. 2. JAPAN Japan is the second-best country in table tennis all over the world. This is according to the ITTF ranking list produced as of 2021. Japan has so far won 4 Olympic medals in the Summer Olympics up to today. This includes 2 silver medals and 2 bronze medals. Likewise, Japan won 3 out of 4 medals in the Rio Olympics. Besides that, Japan is renowned for its commendable professional league all over the globe. It contains some famous Japanese table tennis players who have helped maintain the country at the top rank for quite some time. These players include Mima Ito, Miu Hirano, and Kasumi Ishikawa as female players and Koki Niwa, Jun Mizutani, and Tomokazu Harimoto as male players. Jun won the country’s first Olympic medal in singles by securing the bronze medal, beating Vladimir Samsonov (a dangerous Belarus player) 4-1 in Rio Olympics. Japan won its first men’s team Olympic medal in 2016, where the team secured a silver medal. A deadly mixed double combination of Mima and Jun defeated for the first time a Chinese double of Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen.  They emerged the champions during the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, bringing home a Gold medal from the doubles section. This was the first-ever gold medal to be won by Japan in table tennis competitions of the Olympic Games since its debut in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. One of the strongest ladies’ table tennis countries The country also has a very strong ladies’ table tennis team. The team won medals in 2 Olympics in a row-Silver medal in the 2012 London Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. This caused people to believe in Japan and rank it among the strongest countries in table tennis. The popular Mizutani has won 7 double table tennis titles, thus being a talented and highly skilled Japanese player. Another piece of evidence showing that Japan is one of the most popular countries in table tennis is a poll conducted by Japanese media professional Asahi Shimbun. The poll states the most memorable events for the Japanese during the Tokyo Olympic Games. Many people commented that it was the table tennis mixed doubles finals in which Jun and Mima won. This survey shows that many Japanese have a dying interest in table tennis. They prefer to watch Olympic Games and World Championships or take an active part by playing. They are always cheering on players who represent their country enthusiastically. In this poll, more than 17% of Japanese ranked table tennis as their most popular sport. Koki Niwa is the country’s greatest player. He enabled the country to win a gold medal at the 2010 Youth Olympics.  He also won the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in 2010 for the doubles title and in 2011 for the singles title.  Koki met all odds and beat Ma Long of China on 21st April 2012 by being ranked number 1 worldwide to become the first player to be qualified for the 2012 Olympics from the Asian Olympics Qualifiers. Japan also has many rising stars, which continually take the country to greater heights. 3. GERMANY Germany is ranked the third-best country in table tennis worldwide by the ITTF. The ranking is according to the total number of medals that the country has won since table tennis became a popularly played game worldwide. Here is a table that shows the medals the country has won over the years and its rank. We will break down some of the country’s wins and achievements based on individual table tennis players’ and group/ team achievements. These players’ achievements put the country on the rank among the best and most popular countries in table tennis. Germany has won 7 Olympic medals, including three silver and four bronze medals in the Summer Olympics. The country won its first Olympic medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, a silver medal in men’s doubles. It also produced some famous table tennis players who are considered the best in the country. Some of them include Timo Boll, Jörg Rosskopf and Dimitrij Ovtcharov. They’ve represented Germany in many table tennis Olympic and World Championship games and brought the victory home. Jörg and Dimitrij are the only male table tennis players who ever won an Olympic medal in singles in Germany. Jörg won a bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, whereas Dimitrij won a bronze medal in the London Olympics. In 1989, Rosskopf and Steffen Fetzner won the World Championship in doubles putting the country at the top again. Since then, table tennis sport has gained so much popularity and dominance in Germany. Timo Boll – Best German Table Tennis Player Ever  In 2004, the famous German sports club – Borussia Dortmund established a table tennis section beside a football club. Its purpose was to develop and nurture table tennis talent in the country. Timo Boll once became the best German table tennis player. He was ranked second in the German Table Tennis National League and 10th in the ITTF world championships in July 2021. He has proved to be the Greatest Table Tennis Player of All Time for Germany, ranking world number 1 in 2003, 2011, and March 2018. Boll currently plays for the Borussia Düsseldorf club. The first European Championship occurred in 1958 when Germany emerged second, winning silver in the competition. The men’s national team brought silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and bronze at the 2012 London and Rio Olympics. Germany literary dominated the top positions in table tennis Championships, and Olympic Games as the men’s team helped the country maintain the top positions. Germany’s women’s team clinched its first Olympic medal, a silver one, at the 2016 Rio Olympics. They have also been making big wins over the years because of the highly skilled women players it carries. Today, Germany is still showing potential for excellence in table tennis sport. They have young and professional players who are believed to take the country to a higher level. An example is a player by the name of Kay Stumper. Kay was born on 15th October 2002 and began playing table tennis at a very tender age (3 years). He is privileged to have German Premium League athletes as parents who have been training him. Kay Stumper – The young hope of German table tennis  This young lad is the hope for table tennis’s future in the country because he has been showing tremendous success in competitions he has been involved in. He won a bronze medal in the European Youth Championships for juniors in 2018 and 2019. He also won the Europe Youth Top 10 for juniors as part of the German youth squad in 2018 and 2019. Stumper is not the only one who will keep Germany at the top of the rank. Other upcoming players will maintain the country at the top and among the strongest countries in table tennis. Strongest Countries in Table Tennis – History Table tennis was invented in England in the early 20th century. It was majorly known as ping pong. Ping pong is still in use today, but the name table tennis was adopted in 1921-1922 when the old ping pong association was revived. By this time, Germany, Hungary, and England were the leading table tennis representatives and pioneered the formation of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) in 1926. By the mid-1990s, more than 165 states had become members. The first world championships were held in 1926. Table tennis was dominated by European players from this time till 1939. Table tennis became an official sport in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. In the mid-1950s, Asia emerged as a breeding ground of champions, and from that time, the individual and team events (for both men and women) have been dominated by athletes from China. The game’s popularity in China gave rise to the so-called “Ping-Pong diplomacy,” a period during the 1970s in which Cold War tensions between China and the United States were eased by a series of highly publicized table tennis matches between athletes from the two countries. Strongest Countries in Table Tennis – Conclusion This article has provided information on the brief history of table tennis and where it is now. Table tennis has been embraced over the years, reaching a level where it has become a preferred sport by many people. The above countries have put a lot of resources into table tennis to ensure that it is a loved and enjoyed sport by every person in these countries. They have highly invested in it that’s why they can secure so many titles and wins from international table tennis games and competitions. ITTF World Ranking Top 20 Strongest Countries in Table Tennis – Men They didn’t start winning overnight; they put so much effort into reaching where they are throughout the years. While these are the top three countries in table tennis, it is essential to note that any country can rise and take the number one spot. For the strongest countries in table tennis to stay at the top, they must continually work on their techniques and strategies. China, Japan, and Germany should not get too comfortable at the top of the list; other countries quickly catch up.  

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Table Tennis Blade Material Guide – The 18 Best Wood Types for Blades

Knowing about table tennis wood types and species can answer many questions about why blades behave the way they do. It is one of the most important materials used in blade construction, and yet it is one of the most controversial topics in the TT community. Therefore, I thought it would be helpful to share what each kind of wood should ideally have, why you see so many different kinds in a table tennis blade, and which types of blades use each type of wood. What are the table tennis wood types? Table tennis blades made of different woods have different properties. That’s why you have to pick them depending on your game style so that shots come out with extra snap and power or with a soft touch. But the choice isn’t always easy since there are more than 40 types of wood used for table tennis blades. Some people even ask me which wood is the most popular among professional players or if a specific type of wood is better than another. You’ll find my answer to the question “Which wood is best for blade: Balsa, Koto, Ayous, Limba, or a custom composite wood?” below. But first, here’s a brief overview of the 18 best wood types most preferred by table tennis manufacturers and professionals and the unique characteristics of each of the woods. 1. Ayous Overview: Ayous is an African wood found in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria. It is a durable light to medium-weight wood that sees additional use in racket making because of its durability and flexibility. This African softwood comes with high-compression properties that make an excellent outer ply. Features: Ayous wood is used in the table tennis blade composition in various ways, including the core, exterior plies, and outer veneer on many blades. It is composite plywood made from layers of veneer, each compressed separately under heat and pressure with the grain specifically oriented to create performance characteristics similar to those of hardwoods. Each layer of veneer is compressed in different directions so that the overall plies will not split when bent and increase stiffness in various directions for greater control. Benefits: 1. Ayous combines the firmness of maple with the flexibility of limba to produce a flexible yet extremely durable blade. 2. The surface ply of Ayous is 0.2mm thick, so it is easy to do precise control balance between stiffness and flex. 3. The wood is strong and light which helps with quick movement control. 4. When properly maintained, Ayous can decrease blade construction costs by up to 50%. Suitable playing style and configuration: For competition play and close-to-the-net counter-attacks, Ayous is a perfect choice and is often found in control or spin-oriented rackets. Examples of blades constructed with Ayous: Most of the Stiga blades (5 ply and 7 plywood blades) are constructed with Ayous. The Butterfly’s bestseller, the Andrzej Gruba Carbon blade, and the Butterfly Hinoki Shake 5 are also constructed with the Ayous wood as the outer veneer. 2. Ash Overview: Ash pairs well in all wood blades as medial ply with matching specs. It has a smoky look, much like rosewood, and this needs to be oiled to protect it. This wood’s weight (medium) makes it ideal for all-wooden blades. The stiffness can make it excel in powerful offensive playing styles and with blades that are on the heavier side. Features: Ash is a heavy 11-13.5 mm, lacquer finished wood. It is hard and heavy with tight growth rings and can be used in all-wood blades with matching specs. It can give you razor-like speed when paired with softer woods without sacrificing control. Benefits: 1. This wood type can help bring out the playing characteristics of a blade. 2. The composition allows for fast wood blade construction. Suitable playing style and configuration: The reaction is very fast with this wood of choice. A good blade made from ash in conjunction with Limba or Koto will have adequate control and is best suitable for spinier loopers. Examples of blades constructed with Ashwood: Some respected custom makers like Rei Li use this wood exclusively in their high-end all-wood blades. 3. Kiso Hinoki / Cedar Port Orford Overview: Kiso Hinoki is a light, solid, high-quality wood for top-level table tennis blades. This particular cypress is used for blade manufacturing only when having 300 years or more of age. ‘Kiso’ is the top Hinoki wood, available only from a single location in Japan. Features: Kiso hinoki produces maximum spin with chopping technique but is really fast during smashes and pushes. This characteristic allows you to enjoy hitting power with great control. It produces excellent backhand loops, drives, and counters with infinite spin. Benefits: 1. Kiso Hinoki is famous for its durability, elasticity, and resilience. 2. It carries an excellent weight to performance ratio, meaning maximum experience, and minimum weight! Suitable playing style and configuration: No doubt this is an excellent choice for highly technical play with extreme topspins combinations or a killer short game with super-fast chops and counter loops. Examples of blades constructed with Kiso Hinoki: This traditional Japanese wood is used for the blade core of Ajisai, Mizutani, and many other Japanese blades of high quality, as well as some Chinese blades. 4. Anigre/Aniegre/Asanfena Overview: Anigre is a durable, smooth, and lightweight wood – perfect for all types of blades. It is light-tan (yellow) in color, native to Africa, and is mainly used as the surface veneer of table tennis blades. Features: Anigre wood delivers quality, class, and feel. This wood type is used to create some of the world’s highest quality custom table tennis blades. The top layer of Anigre wood is sanded down to half an inch in thickness, providing you with a frictionless surface that ensures better control and touch. Benefits: 1. Anigre wood gives a cleaner-looking appearance, which makes the racket look like that of a pro’s. 2. Depending on the thickness of the grooves, Anigre from 1.8mm gains 10-15% additional speed. 3. Waterproof, durable, and solid, this top-grade hardwood provides excellent control and feel. Suitable playing style and configuration: It’s a good choice for beginners to learn with because it offers easier control. Also, Anigre wood is suitable for all-around performance and those who want the feel of a high-quality blade with great control and optimal speed. Examples of blades constructed with Anigre wood: Butterfly Matsushita Pro and Sweden Extra blades are constructed with outer plies of Anigre. 5. Balsa Overview: Blades constructed with Balsa are some of the most professional and fastest table tennis blades today. It is a popular choice for the core of table tennis blades or handles due to its durability and lightweight. It is an extremely lightweight, porous, and springy wood. These characteristics make balsa wood excellent core material for all types of blades, ranging from fast attacking to slow defensive blades. Balsa has a structure that can withstand impact and return a fast strike. When a ball strikes Balsa, the blade is cut slightly and bounces off. Features: Compared to other wood cores, Balsa is extremely lightweight, making blades extremely quick without sacrificing much in the way of control. Its high ‘springiness’ is great for spin variation and looping but can also affect the player’s control if they do not have time and experience practicing with fiberglass blades to reach a balance.   Benefits: 1. Balsa’s lightweight makes for a fast blade with a good feeling of control. 2. With a balsa blade in hand, you are sure to experience excellent speed and spin than ordinary wood. Suitable playing style and configuration: Balsa is most popular in “all-around blades due to its high ability to produce spin. The solid core construction with Balsa makes it suitable for good attack and defense. Hence, it is suitable for attacking players who want excellent speed, control, and spin/faster swings! Examples of blades constructed with Balsa: Butterfly Balsa Carbon X5 and Victas Balsa 8.5 are two of the most popular Balsa wooden blades. 6. Basswood Overview: Basswood is a stable, lightweight wood suitable for all kinds of blade types. This wood is widely available throughout China and accounts for a good portion of the budget-friendly player blades that you will see today. Features: Basswood’s behavior is widely determined by the plies, and it is another very diverse wood. The Features are almost similar to that of limba. It is heavy and hard yet provides the racket with adequate stability and control on service and receive. Since the wood is stiff, it works well in all metrics (mid-or backhand). It also creates stiff mid and thin topspin. Benefits: 1. Table tennis blades with basswood composition are very economical all-around blades. 2. Although economic quality construction provides all the essential benefits of a high-quality blade. Suitable playing style and configuration: It is good for strong fundamentals and all-around playability. Being very economical, it is an excellent choice for beginners to practice different drills. The characteristics of the wood also make it suitable for close to the table blocking. Examples of blades constructed with Basswood: DHS PF4 blade and Butterfly Midi Blades are constructed with outer plies of Balsa wood. 7. Hinoki / Cypress Overview: Hinoki Cypress is just like natural Hinoki wood; it is light and easy to work with and produces a fast and powerful blade. You can use this type of wood for any kind of blade. Hence the popularity of this wood in the manufacturing of a variety of custom-made blades. Also, it has an atypical property of often holding up even after prolonged use. Well, you can only acquire these properties from a genuine Blade crafted from this material. Hinoki / Cypress woods are expensive, but if you want to acquire a high-quality blade, this is the best choice for you! Features: Hinoki Cypress is the most suitable wood in terms of flexibility, weight, and proper springiness. This Japanese wood comprises a very smooth texture, making it an excellent material for a blade, and Hinoki doesn’t encumber anything which can make your shot off. But don’t you think this makes it slower, though, because Hinoki is actually relatively fast! Benefits: 1. Control and power are two essential factors in choosing wood for custom table tennis blade construction. Hinoki provides control and power to help you with your game. 2. It provides an excellent feeling to touch. Suitable playing style and configuration: Hinoki Cypress delivers soft touch and power. It is a high-quality offensive wood best for topspin and, of course, to win points! Examples of blades constructed with Hinoki: 1. Butterfly All Hinoki 5 blade Cypress Wood. 2. Butterfly Cypress V-Max. 8. Koto Overview: Koto is a Japanese word used in table tennis blades. This wood is also known as Ofete, Kakende, Kefe, Ake, Ikame, Awari, and Kyere. Koto has a tight, stiff grain and sharp tone. Blades constructed with Koto look natural and provide the lightest, truest feeling. Features: Koto wood has a high density and is generally very hard – 19 points on the Janka hardness scale (in Europe, Beech = 420 and Oak = 600). This wood is of medium weight and therefore helps to provide the blade with good stability. Combining the tight grains with a slightly reddish hue creates a very nice look. Benefits: 1. Balance, precision, flexibility, and excellent control are the key benefits of this type of wood. 2. It is a medium-fast to faster wood which gives you an extremely good feel and control of the ping pong ball and makes it possible to play with a high trajectory. Suitable playing style and configuration: The consistent ply structure, together with the light-weighting that this wood has in the blade, results in a perfect blade for an offensive player! Examples of blades constructed with Koto: Stiga Offensive Classic and Butterfly Viscaria blades’ composition comprises two plays of Koto wood. Butterfly Timo Boll Spirit also contains 0.5 mm Koto outer ply and 3.2 mm Koto inner layer. 9. Kiri Overview: The most exciting thing about Kiri wood is its lightness. It weighs only 1/2 the strength of a balsa blade, and with the same amount of weight, it has 2 times the stiffness. Some things happen when you press the strings down on a Kiri blade. Features: Kiri wood is medium-hardness wood, a characteristic of Paulownia and one very important factor for choosing a blade. Hardwoods, like Balsa, are for beginners and Stiga basic blades, who want to play faster and look more attacking. (It is easier to get fast shots with a harder wood). On the other hand, if you want more control and a more defensive/patient game, you should try a blade with a medium hardness wood core. One of the best medium-hardness wood is Paulownia. It is lightweight and stiff but not so much as a Balsa blade. You get to hear a very distinct sound when hitting the ball on Kiri and Balsa, making the control aspect of these 2 table tennis blade wood types famous among the Chinese players! Benefits: 1. Kiri wood is extremely light (about 68% lighter than balsa wood and Its lighter weight makes it stronger and more durable. 2. Kiri comes with a longer life span than ordinary woods; hence money is saved. Table Tennis Wood Types – Japanese Butterfly  Suitable playing style and configuration: A blade with a core of Kiri wood is made to conquer all the topspin shots of your opponents. This type of wood core is better suited for faster or longer blades because they create very little vibration with outer plies. You might feel like you get more energy from your wrist. And also, there is not much dwell on the table for the ball to fall away from the blade on a Kiri blade. This little bit of spin on your shots comes from the dwell that bounces off a typical Balsa or Ayous (cypress) table tennis blade. But, because of the -1st Class Graphite Carbon Fiber construction (which leads to less vibration), you can use lighter rubbers and get more spin, better control, and speed than what you are used to. And here is another plus. Your partner’s strokes won’t feel as sharp on your forearm and hand because of the -1st class carbon fiber construction of Kiri wood blades. Examples of blades constructed with Kiri: Butterfly blades with a core of Kiri wood (also known as Paulownia, Princess Tree, and Empress Tree) are some of the lightest, most durable blades in the world. Kiri wood has also been used in F2 and Connelly table tennis products for almost 15 years. 10. Limba Overview: Limba, also known as Korina, is a hard west African wood of light yellow color. Limba is a popular choice for mid-priced and upper mid-priced blades because it has a nice feel and does not cost as much as more exotic woods. Features: Firstly, Limba is rigid and solid. This wood provides excellent feel and sound qualities for topspin play. It is best used in conjunction with other woods in the blade to add feeling, touch, and liveliness. Secondly, table tennis blades with limba outer plies have a high throw angle (a high arc/curve in your shots). Because of this, these blades tend to be slower but have more potential for speed when paired with suitable rubber. Benefits: 1. Its vibrations or flex are liked by topspin players. 2. All sound vibrations are transmitted through the blade quicker than Hinoki or Koto woods. So you’ll have more control to place the ball where you want over the table. 3. Limba adheres with speed glue very well. Suitable playing style and configuration: Limba is a popular wood used in table tennis blades such as OFF- and ALL+ blocks and 7 ply combination blades with 10 mm carbon fiber ply layers. Examples of blades constructed with Limba: Butterfly Primorac and Nittaku Acoustic blades are constructed with 4 plies of limba each. 11. Walnut Overview: Walnut is a popular outer plywood-veneer used by table tennis blade and racket manufacturers. The wood is said to be more complex than most other woods, and it imparts extra power and control when used as the outer ply, but at the same time, it makes the blade feel crisper. However, Walnut has also been described as a high-speed outer ply material. Features and Benefits: Walnut is a hard, dense, tight-grained wood. It is used as a top ply but is sometimes also seen to be used as a medium layer ply. It is one of the rarer outer veneers on the market and has a hard but crisp feeling. Blades constructed with Walnut outer ply. Examples of blades constructed with Walnut: Walnut blades are produced by the world’s best brands, including Nittaku, Butterfly, Donic, and more. A Brief Overview On The Additional 7 Wood Types Used For Custom Table Tennis Blade Construction: Douglas Fir: Since the first prototype of table tennis blades made of Douglas Fir wood and plywood was constructed in 1954 by J. H. Wray, Douglas Fir has been used in the production of table tennis rackets. It is popular due to its hardness and unique ability to be shaped into various curve types. Poplar: Poplar is light and soft, which provides substantial control in the game of table tennis, and that is why used for blade construction. able tennis blades with poplar handles provide better feeling and higher control Jatoba: Jatoba woods are very dense and heavy, and professional players prefer this wood to get more speed and control. Spruce: Spruce wood is one of the strongest and most dense woods. Many consider getting “poplar thickening” or so-called “tiger stripes” for their custom-made spruce blade. Willow: Willow is a heavy wood that deadens the effect of incoming balls, making hard, fast loops easier to control. It is amazingly defensive and only recommended for choppers. Zebrano: It has an excellent woody feel – some pips that you rarely find on carbon blades. And it is worth considering for its hardness and durability, despite the large pore issue that can affect your game. Tung (Vernicia fordii): Tung is lightweight and strong. However, since it makes up most of the outer ply, you can play good spin shots with tung-based blades (though they’ll be limited in speed). Table Tennis Wood Types – Conclusion Of course, the wood species is just one factor in choosing a blade. There are many other considerations like the type of carbon, weight, speed, control, and the players’ style. This blade material guide is intended to assist you in learning about the 18 common wood types of table tennis blades and how they perform. Finally, for your technical references and to learn the ratings of each wood species based on the ratings of the Janka Hardness Scale, I suggest you visit: Pohepa.gr.  

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Table Tennis Olympics History (1988 Seoul – 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games)

The Olympic Games is a tradition that stretches back 3000 years in history. This article is an overview of the Olympics history of table tennis. In Greece, the first Olympic Games were held as a tribute to the mighty Greek God Zeus, who lived on top of mount Olympus. Throughout the millennia of the tournament’s existence, it has seen its share of ups and downs. There weren’t too many games enlisted during the early days as a part of the tournament. Gradually, as the tournament became a global phenomenon. More games were added to the list of games that could be played in the Olympics. The Olympic Games are held every four years with a wide range of sports. The last session of the Olympic Games was held in 2021. The 2022 Winter Olympics are being held in Beijing. Follow the live stream by clicking here. Among all the sports, we will discuss table tennis today and investigate the history of this sport at the Olympics. When Did Table Tennis Start? It is widely believed that table tennis was invented by upper-class members of society back in the Victorian era around 1880. It was intended to be a gentle alternative to lawn tennis. The earlier versions of the game used to be played with whatever equipment was available at the said time; often, a line of books would serve as a net, a round-topped cork as the ball, and the lid of a cigar box would be used as a paddle. Table tennis was introduced on the program for the 1924 Summer Olympics, where it was a demonstrated sport. The sport was taken to new heights in 1926 with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) formation following meetings in London and Berlin. The first table tennis world championships were organized in 1926 as well. But the sport had to wait decades before it would become a part of the Olympics. It’s noteworthy that the sport has come a long way since its invention. The athletes use high-grade wooden carbon fiber paddles coated with rubber and lightweight, hollow celluloid ping pong balls. Because of the high-grade equipment, the athletes can now hit the ball and send it flying at over 150kmph speed! History of Table Tennis in The Olympic Games Table tennis is one of the games played in every session of the Olympic Games. It was first introduced to the Olympics in the 1988 summer Olympics held in Seoul, South Korea. Since that year, table tennis has had a growing profile and is one of the fastest-growing sports played by more than 100 million people worldwide. The first table tennis session in the Olympics included singles and doubles tournaments for both genders in the debut tournament. Then, later on, back in 2008, the doubles tournaments were scrapped by the 2008 summer Olympics committee, and team events replaced it. Ma Lin from China was the winner of the 2008 Olympics Table Tennis who has won the highest number of World Cups than other table tennis players in history but now ties with Fan Zhendong as of 2020. The athlete that holds the record for all-time medal leader is Ma Long from China, who has won five gold medals. Ma Long is followed by Wang Hao, who is also from China and has won 5 gold medals in the Olympics. And Ma Lin and Zhang Jike from China have won three gold medals in the men’s division. Wang Nan from China is the best athlete in the women’s division with four gold medals. Wang Nan shares this achievement with Deng Yaping and Zhang Yinin from China. She has a silver medal in table tennis. Chen Jing, also from China, was the first to win two medals back in 1988 and won two medals for Chinese Taipei. Her most recent medals were in 1996 and the 2000 Table Tennis Olympics. Table Tennis Olympics – China From 1992, the winners of the singles women’s division have gone on to win the doubles and team events as well; they are Deng Yaping (1992/1996), Wang Nan (2000), Zhang Yining (2004/2008), Li Xiaoxia (2012), Ding Ning (2016), and Chen Meng (2020). In the Olympic events, four athletes were able to achieve the same, and they are Liu Guoliang (1996), Ma Lin (2008), Zhang Jike (2012), and Ma Long (2016/2020). No other players other than Deng, Zhang, and Ma Long have defended their singles titles in neither men’s nor women’s divisions. In double’s events Deng Yaping, Qiao Hong (1992/1996), and Wang Nan (2000/2004) were the only ones to retain defend both titles. Thirteen table tennis athletes have won four medals in the history of table tennis, and six have won three medals. So far, China is the most successful country in the Olympics table tennis and part of the reason why Chinese players are known to dominate the table tennis at the Olympics. They have won 53 medals in total, including 32 gold medals, 20 silver medals, and 8 bronze medals. Chinese table tennis athletes have been able to win at least one medal in each Olympic table tennis event since 1992! The Chinese team at the Olympics At the 2008 Table Tennis Olympics, China had managed to win almost all medals in both the men’s and women’s singles games. China won both team events. This is something that had never been witnessed before and concluded their Olympics session with 18 medals in total. After China, the second most successful nation in the Olympic table tennis events in South Korea. South Korea is the only nation in the history of Olympic table tennis to win double-digit medals. From the 2020 summer Olympics, 115 table tennis medals were awarded; among them are 37 gold’s, 37 silver, and 41 bronze medals to 102 players from 12 national Olympic committees. There were no third place competitions held in 1992, and because of that, four additional bronze medals were awarded. The First Table Tennis Championship The first-ever table tennis championship was held on December 11-14-1901 in London’s Royal Aquarium with over 200 contestants. Back around 1901, entire Britain was down with the ping pong fever. The relatively new sport was often seen as just a fad among many, but others were absolutely in love with it. Even though, in actuality, this one was not the first-ever ping pong championship as a couple of tournaments were held a few months before it. Still, it was indeed the first-ever major table tennis tournament to be held anywhere. This is why the London Table Tennis Championship of 1901 is regarded as the first Table Tennis Championship. The event at the Royal Aquarium was organized by Major Ritchie, who was an accomplished tennis player. Major Ritchie had even won the Wimbledon doubled title two times in his tennis career and had also won the 1908 singles gold medal. Some reports claim that at least 200 men had registered themselves to compete in the event along with 48 women contestants. The Royal Aquarium The event started on December 11 on a Wednesday. The games began around 3 in the afternoon with the women’s competition, and a men’s competition took off around 7 in the evening. The two genders were divided into sections, in 24 sections for men and 8 for women; these sections were contested for the event’s first three days. The last day concluded both men’s and women’s tournaments. According to the sources, the final two contestants from the women’s division were a thrilling one. The match was between Vivian Eames from Stratham and Maud Thomas, an accomplished tennis player in the 1890s. The match was played under the rules of best of three with 20 points to each. After both had won 1 game, each the final game was down to 19-19 and had drawn. The Daily Graphics report stated that it was decided not to let one side win with a one-point margin, and the two players went on to play another five-point game. The game was won by Earns when she managed to score 3 points out of five and won the title. Table Tennis Olympics China Domination In the men’s division, the final match was between G. Baker and R.D Ailing Vie for the title of the Table Tennis Champion. The two had also played a best of three matches, with 30 points each. The flashier Baker won the first match with 30-22 points. In the second match, ailing bought back and won the match with his stonewall technique that wore Baker down; Ayling went on to win the match with 30-22 points. Later on, in the next game, Ayling used a vellum paddle with a relatively long handle to win the championship with 30-26 points. The media also reported that. The Daily Graphic reported that one of the last matches that the reporter had seen had lasted for an astonishing 162 shots! And one of the contestants had worn white Flanner that, according to some competitors, made seeing the ball more difficult. Winners of each section won a medal and four prize awards. And each men’s and women’s champion won a challenge cup each. The organizer of the first table tennis championship, Major Ritchie, had stated that/”the very first lady who sent her entry was declared by her father to be champion, and one impossible to beat. Since then, we have received entries from many invincible ladies.” The weeks and months that came after the first championship saw many other table tennis championships organized in London. The name R.D. Ayling was heard among the winner again because he had won the All-England Championships in December. After The First Table Tennis Championship There was sudden divination in the table tennis communities in England as two different governing committees were formed in December 1901. The first committee to be formed was the Table Tennis Association. Not too long after that, the Ping Pong Association was formed. The two groups then later merged into each other in 1903. This association only lasted until 1904, when the table tennis craze declined. Since then, the craze was slowing down, but the game continued to mature from the late 1900s up until World War 1. ITTF was formed in 1926, and the first world championship was held later the same year. After ten decades, from its inception in the 1880s, the sport finally found its place in the Olympics in 1988. London’s Royal Aquarium building had been demolished only a couple of years after. The Methodist central hall was built on top of it in 1911. Table Tennis in Asia Asian table tennis culture became crucial for the game to remain an international phenomenon. Table tennis became a big name in the Asian sports scene around the 1950s. The Japanese were the first Asian’s to excel at the sport; it was also the first Asian country to win the world table tennis team championships in 1954 and 1959. Japan is home to some of the best world champions in the history of table tennis, including the likes of Hiroji Sato. They have distinguished themselves with their awe-inspiring performance in the 1959 world championship. The Chinese arrived in the global table tennis scene around the 1960s. The Chinese era in table tennis was sparked by Zhuang Zedong’s triple world championship titles in 1961, 1963, and 1965. During this time, ping pong diplomacy became a thing. The ping pong diplomacy movement played a crucial role in china-America relations. In 1977, the world ping pong championship in Birmingham marked the first Chinese service in the game. As Asian countries became more and more invested in the game, the service became a strategic element of the game from being a mere service. Table Tennis 2020 Tokyo Olympics Table Tennis Olympics 2020 is a notable event in the table tennis Olympics history. This session of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has brought fourteen days of exciting table tennis action at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. The spectators present at the events were left spellbound by the sheer athleticism of the players. The entire event was filled with historical incidents and memorable moments. Hend Zaza made her debut as the youngest Olympian. Japan created history in the mixed double tournament. Germany asserted its dominance, became the new European superpower and challenged the decade-long Chinese reign in the table tennis Olympics. This Olympics has shed some spotlight on the wonders of table tennis and has captured the imaginations of a whole new generation. Hend Zaza from Syria did not just become the youngest table tennis player in this Olympics; she became the youngest Olympian in any sport since 1968, at only 12 years old. The only Olympian to be younger than Hend Zaza was the 11-year-old Beatrice Hustu, who competed in figure skating. Even though Zaza had to face defeat with 4-0 points to the Austrian veteran table tennis player Liu Jia’s 24 minutes of the game.  Zaza, keeping her head high, stated that she would come back to the Olympics and lift her country’s flag up high. The next phase of the games saw a few more milestones being passed as Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito beat Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen and won the gold medal on behalf of Japan in the opening mixed doubles event. This victory was significant. This was the first-ever incident of a host country winning gold medals across all tables since the Seoul Olympics back in 1988. Mixed Doubles Table Tennis Olympics History Since 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, it has only been that table tennis has been a part of the Olympic Games program. It was not until 1992 when mixed doubles were added to the program. Changing the game format of table tennis in the 1992 Summer Olympics. From 1988 to 2008, there were only singles and doubles events for men and women. Only in 2012 did table tennis have a team event at the Olympics, as well as mixed doubles for both men’s and women’s teams. The mixed doubles bronze medal was won by the Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun Ju and Cheng I-ching team. The third place belonged to France’s Emmanuel Lebesson and Yuan Jia Nan. The 2020 summer Olympics table tennis event became a spectacle to be witnessed, with all the ups, downs, joys, and sorrows all packed into one event. Omar Assar from Egypt faced off against Sweden’s Mattias Falck and upset him with Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih- Yuan in the 16th round of the men’s singles event. Omar Assar became the first athlete from a middle-eastern country that reached the men’s singles quarter-final. He would face defeat against China’s Ma Long. While the Egyptians rejoiced, the opposite happened for Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto. Harimoto was left astonished when he faced a round of 16 defeats against Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic. Jorgic seeded 18th made a spectacle of the rankings and bashed the third-seeded Japanese player’s dreams of holding the gold medal on home soil. Road To Tokyo – Tomokazu Harimoto – From Young Talent to Leading Man The first-ever women’s singles champion from Japan was awarded to Ito. It won the medal as she beat Yu Mengyu from Singapore. Cheng Meng from China had a dream debut as she went on to win the gold medal after she defeated compatriot sun Yingsha in a mesmerizing final match. Another historic moment comes from none other than the Chinese legend Ma Long as he obliterated his teammate, Fan Zhendong, in the great final of the men’s singles match. He has made history by becoming another three times world table tennis champion. Ma Long became the first to defend the title. This one victory of Ma over Fan made Ma the greatest current table tennis player. However, the 2021 World Table Tennis Championship that took place in Houston updates Fan Zhendong as the winner of the Men’s singles title, once again. Looking Back At The Table Tennis Olympics Medal History The highest number of Table Tennis Olympics medals belongs to none other than China ever since the 1988 Summer Olympics. The athlete medal leader scorecard is all dominated by the golden stars on the red canton flag of China. Also, only once was the golden Nordic cross on the field of Sweden’s flag’s light blue and the black-red-golden tricolor of that of the Germans and twice the whites of Japan’s and South Korea’s. The Chinese men’s team was the top seed, and they extended their 100 percent winning record by defeating the second seed Germany. As China gained more and more achievements, Ma has also become the most decorated table tennis athlete in the sport’s history with five gold medals. But who has won the highest number of medals at the Table Tennis Olympics? Looking at the list of the Olympics medalists in table tennis, you can see that Wang Hao, Ma Long, and Wang Nan – all the three draws as the winner of the highest number of Table Tennis Olympics medals in history. All three of them won in total five medals at the Olympics. But Wang Hao won two golds and three silvers. Whereas Ma Long won five gold medals; perhaps that is why Wikipedia regards Ma Long as the table tennis medal leader at Olympics. If that is the case, then Wang Nan must be the second Olympic medal leader in the table tennis Olympic history as she won four golds and one silver. All three of them were preceded by Zhang Jike. He is the winner of four Olympic medals (three golds and one silver), followed by Ma Lin. He won three gold medals at the Olympics. Dimitrij Ovtcharov from Germany also had moments in the spotlight when he defeated Lin in a seven-game thriller and won the singles bronze medal. This was not Octacharov’s first Olympic medal. A second one after the 32-year-old had won a bronze medal in 2012. The 32-year-old had then contemplated retirement after he lost his match against Ma. Hong Kong also had a star of its own in the 2020 session of the summer Olympics. Her name is Soo Wai Yam. Soo Wai has shown her incredible spirit and talent throughout the tournament. She had managed to win the bronze medal for the women’s team. This was her first Olympic medal since the 2004 Table Tennis Olympics. Their team had managed to pull off a great upset against the German team, seeded to be third. Chinese women team table tennis The Chinese women’s team repeatedly proved why they are the best in the world when it comes to table tennis. They beat the impressive and dominating Japanese team of Ito Kasumi Ishikawa and Miu Hirano. The Chinese team was absolutely unstoppable in their match. Also, rightfully earned their women’s team gold medal for the fourth time. The team maintained their unbelievable record of never losing a single team’s match ever in the Olympics. Even though she lost, Ito earned more respect and accolades than most players. That was because she became the first-ever table tennis athlete to win all three medals. The gold, silver, and bronze. Table Tennis Olympics History – The Final Thoughts That said, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was indeed a spectacle to be witnessed in the Table Tennis Olympics history. The event consisted of talented individuals with incredible athletic abilities. Some may have won, and some may have lost, but when judging by skill, grit, determination, and passion. Each of these fantastic athletes consistently outdoes each other. The only thing left to do right now is to wait for the next season of the Summer Olympics. There! Now that you are acquainted with the Olympics history of table tennis, check out this article if you want to learn in detail about the greatest table tennis Olympics winners that made history.  

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7 Best Table Tennis Brands (Butterfly, Joola, Stiga, and more)

Table tennis is a great sport, with so many brands manufacturing its products worldwide that players are spoilt for choice. This leaves many of them confused about which brand to choose from. Sometimes it is also quite tasking to tell the difference between the products. In this article, we shed light on 7 of the elite brands in the world of table tennis, explaining the brands themselves and some of their products and their features. With that said, let us get into it! 1. The Butterfly Brand OFFICIAL WEBSITE This is hands-down the most well-known brand in the table tennis market, if not a significant player in the history of table tennis evolution. Its production of quality goods has built a steady reputation for the company, which was founded on 19th December 1950. It is in Yanai City, Japan. Butterfly went by the name Tamasu Company Ltd. before being renamed. Hikosuke Tamasu, an iconic Japanese player, founded Butterfly 29 years. The idea behind the brand name butterfly pictures table tennis players as flowers in the world of table tennis. Hikosuke’s vision was to create a team of people who would be ‘butterflies’ to fly around the flowers (players) and meet their table tennis needs. Hikosuke was more than just a fan of table tennis. He was a player too. This enabled him to present the needs of each player and actualize their solutions using his creations. Achievement Journey Since they were founded in 1950, Butterfly has kept soaring with only 14 employees. They began producing blades and rubber. 1960- 1962- Butterfly launches D 13 and Butterfly Tempest D13. 1967- Sriver rubber launched (top-selling rubbers worldwide with over 20 million sold). 1973- Tamasu Butterfly Europe is started in Moers, Germany 1983- Butterfly established a training and research center in Tokyo. Here, scientists work with veteran players to create and advance blade and rubber technology. 2000- Introduction of Bryce rubber(a high tension rubber) 2006- Butterfly Technical Center is opened in Japan, where scientists develop new products and work with the latest technology. 2008- Butterfly launched the Tenergy series, its latest innovation being ‘spring sponge.’ 2013- Butterfly founded a new research and development center in Tokorozawa, Japan, Butterfly Tec. Products Hikosuke wanted a reliable company for table tennis equipment. He dove deep into the business world, investing even in sewing machines. This was one of their widely known ventures for a while. Butterfly has various products, including 50 different tables, 40 different rubber types, and 90 different blades. Besides those, they make and sell other table tennis products such as clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, and balls. Tenergy 05, the most popular rubber sheet, employs the newest developments in rubber technology. This makes it rank as the top rubber sheet sold in the market. Butterfly ping pong tables are well known for their outstanding quality. They have sleek tops which make room for every bounce of the ball, not to mention their superb edge protection. Their wheels are flexible to make the movement of the table easy, with no stress. Butterfly groups its paddles according to their unique playing styles. They come at affordable prices and never disappoint their users. This brand has such a notable reputation that about 60% of the players of European and World Championships use Butterfly rubbers and blades. They get purchase over 600,000 blades and 1,000,000 rubbers annually. Offices The head office is in Tokyo, Japan. The headquarters, blade and racket productions, and research and development center are also in Japan, Tokorozawa. Production of most of the textiles, bags, and shoes is done in China. Ping-pong tables to be sold all around Europe are made in Germany. Some overseas corporations in Moers, China, Shanghai, Thailand, Seoul (Korea), and Germany). Undoubtedly, Butterfly is a brand that allows its products to speak for themselves because of their outstanding quality. 2. Stiga Brand OFFICIAL WEBSITE Formally founded in 1944 in Sweden, Stiga produced lawnmowers for a while. However, it has manufactured table tennis products since 1938. In 1984, the brand set aside an independent branch exclusively to create table tennis equipment. Stiga has partnered with Chinese and Swedish teams severally to host big table tennis tournaments. It shows so much growth from when it started by creating partnerships with over 100 countries worldwide. This sky-rocketed its popularity as compared to other table tennis brands. Achievement Journey 1964- European Championships use Stiga’s table, and the Stiga robot is introduced. 1969- AllRound classic blade is launched 1976- 2012- different blades are released, such as the traditional offensive blade (1976), clipper wood blade (1981), high-end blade Ebenholz (2009), and offensive classic carbon blade (2012). 2013- Head office expands to 11,000m2. 2014- Carbonado series is launched, featuring TeXtreme Carbon Technology. Products The classic Swedish company makes products for both professional and recreational players. Stiga produces bags, shoes, robots, clothing, rubbers, blades, tables, balls, and nets, just to mention a few. Other than table tennis products, it also has other outdoor and indoor products such as scooters, play-off hockey tables, snow racers, and boards. However, they began with the production of ready-made rackets. In the late 1960s, they expanded their product line. They involved world-class players in the production of separate blades with authentic craftwork. They named the first-ever table tennis blade Allround Classic, still produced today. All their blades are made in Eskilstuna. Their elite offensive WRB paddles showcase revolutionized veneer technology which grants them a remarkable advantage over other paddles. All their products have fashioned features to match all sorts of playing styles. Stiga ping pong tables come with ball bearing wheels which are helpful for easy movement. They have provisions for quality ball bounce and are easy to set up and dismantle. Moreover, the tables are attractive to look at. The majority of table tennis balls used in table tennis are from Stiga. Offices Their head office is in Eskilstuna, Sweden. It is 11,000m2 big. They also have a 60,000m2 factory in Germany that produces ping-pong tables. Partnerships and sponsors In 2003, Stiga partnered with the Swedish national table tennis team. The agreement lasted for ten years, but they agreed to extend it by seven additional years to 2020. Besides that, they made merges with many national teams. The brand sponsors five national table tennis teams: China, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Czech Republic. It also supports Truls Moregard, the 2019 junior championship medalist from Sweden. Being one of the first companies to manufacture table tennis equipment for mass production, Stiga is a brand that is highly recommended for its effective and world-class products. 3. Joola Brand OFFICIAL WEBSITE This is a German company that was founded in 1952. The sports department of the store Jooss in Landau began the production of ping pong tables. JoolaTischtennis GmbH had its name derived from the first letters of its department and location: Jooss (department name) and Landau (location name). In 1954, Jooss made it an independent department within the group because of the increased demand for their products. Production then shifted from Landau to Godramstein in 1963. Later in 1973, rubber and blade production started in Siebeldingen. Achievement journey 1996- Joola provides an official Olympic table for the Atlantic Olympics. 1999- Production of metal parts begins in Kiskoros, Hungary, to be delivered to the headquarters in Germany. 2000, 2004- Joola provides an official Olympic table for the Sydney Olympics and Athens Olympics. 2018- Joola sponsors the biggest tournament in the world- World Veteran Championships. 2021-Introduction of the latest Dynaryz rubbers. Products They do the production of ping-pong tables in the Siebeldingen factory. Their tables are coated with lacquer by an automated machine that can attend to 30 tables per hour. Other leisure ping pong tables are manufactured in China. Blades are produced in China, Hungary, Sweden, and Japan. The brand also makes 50 different types of rubbers. Their rubber series, such as X-Plode and Energy, is manufactured in Germany. Other rubber series are made in China, Austria, Japan, and Estonia. Bats, balls, clothing, and robots are other products that Joola offers. They pay special attention to the clothes that ping pong players wear. It is also worth mentioning that Joola develops 25 new products annually. Firstly, this brand has its unique rating speed, control, and spin. Unlike other brands that use numeric ratings, Joola uses a colored scale. They find numeric rating to be subjective in the table tennis market. Secondly, in their colored scale, black represents extra high for advanced offensive, red means high for offensive, blue represents medium for all-round, and the green represents low for defensive. Moreover, the Joola ping pong table features an anti-tilt element that assures safety while dealing with the table and excellent ball balance. Joola table can also split its separable design into halves for proper storage and easy movement. Besides that, Joola makes ping pong conversion tops that serve as a table substitute. Joola’sDynaryz rubber is an updated version of the previous Dynaryz rubbers and can match more playing styles. They are keen to produce the most delicate equipment at affordable prices to support table tennis players of varying levels of competition from the basement to the stage of champions. Offices Joola has two factories in Germany and Hungary. In Godramstein, Germany, the factory allocates 1,800m2 to production, 700m2 to the office area, and 1,200m2 to the warehouse. Other offices are in Italy, China, the USA, France, Korea, and Japan. Considering that Joola has supplied official Olympic tables for three consecutive Olympics, you should try their products because of their consistency. 4. Killerspin (One of the best table tennis brands in the USA) OFFICIAL WEBSITE This brand is one of the latest table tennis brands and was founded by Robert Blackwell Jr. He intended to introduce style and intensity to table tennis to usher in the excitement in the game. He was inspired by the massive turn-up of participants in the ping pong Festival in Chicago. Blackwell saw it as more fit for people to engage in sports rather than sitting and playing video games or working on the computer all day long. From this, he developed his motto UnplugNPlay. He concluded that such an exhilarating sport could disconnect people from technology and cause them to create deeper relationships through in-person interactions. Achievement journey 2000- Blackwell sponsors the Ping Pong Festival in Chicago. 2001- Blackwell starts Killerspin, a prestigious table tennis company. 2013- Killerspin House was born in the heart of downtown Chicago. Products They fashion their equipment to favor different styles of playing and varying skills. Killerspin paddles are among the most commonly used paddles in table tennis. Their ping pong tables have arch bases and sleek surfaces that give a good bounce of the ball and give players a chance to see the intensity the brand creator intended to display. Offices Killerspin house is in Chicago, and its equipment is produced in Europe, the USA, and Asia. They have hosted some of the USA’s most significant table tennis events, such as the Arnold Classic Table Tennis Challenge, Extreme Table Tennis Championships, Mohegan Sun, and Spinvitational Table Tennis Championship. Did you know that Killerspin has an UnPlugNPlay package? The main objective of this program is to bring colleagues together, strengthen their social bonds, and refresh their minds. The package features a versatile ping-pong table and customized paddles for each employee. During breaks, the employees can unplug from their computers and play, improving their performance at work and in the office. Killerspin has made a name for itself by quickly rising to match the brands’ standards that came before it without compromising the quality of its products. It is indeed a trusted brand with creative minds behind the products. 5. Nittaku (One of the best table tennis brands in Japan) OFFICIAL WEBSITE Nippon Takkyu Company Ltd. is based in Tokyo. It is one of the oldest brands of table tennis. The company was founded on 15th July 1947, although it had already started producing table tennis equipment way back in 1920. Achievement journey 1920- Nittaku appears and begins production. 1947- Nitakku is officially founded. 2012- 2019- Nittaku provides official balls for 3 Olympic games, 13 World Championships, and European Championships for seven years. Products Among the products manufactured by Nittaku are table tennis balls, rubbers, ping pong tables, blades, and shoes, just to mention a few. Offices Nittaku’s headquarters are in Tokyo, Japan. They have factories in Furukawa and China. Their sales offices are in Osaka, Sapporo, and Fukuoka, with 100 employees. Sponsorships What cements Nittaku’s place among the top table tennis brands is its sponsoring of the International Table Tennis Federation. They also offer Asian table tennis veterans such as Mima Ito, Ma Long, and Hitomi Sato. 6. Yasaka Brand OFFICIAL WEBSITE Founded in 1947, Yasaka Company Ltd. is a table tennis brand that makes top-notch equipment. The founders were HirosiYaoita and Sakamoto. The name Yasaka is derived from the first letters of Yaoita and Sakamoto. Yaoita was a table tennis player who passed away in 2007. He desired to make quality products that would improve his skill and profession. Achievement journey In the 1950s- Yasaka makes partners with Japanese players, causing it to soar higher in the ranks of world table tennis. 1969- Yasaka introduces rubber Mark V 1992- Yasaka begins blade production in Sweden. 1993- Yasaka Extra blade is launched. 2002- Release of V-stage rubber and 17-layer Dynamix. 2008- Ma Lin (Yasaka player) wins a gold medal using Mark V and Yasaka blade. 2010- 2014- Yasaka Rakza 7, Rakza 9, and Rakza X are launched in 2010, 2012 and 2014 respectively. Products Yasaka’s rubber Mark V has continued to improve since they introduced it and is currently one of the best-known rubbers in the market. They fashioned it rubber on both sides of a standard table tennis paddle. The innovation promises higher speed and spins to players. Mark V boasts two wins: the men’s single in the European Championships (1970) and the World Championships in 1971. Rakza rubbers, on the other hand, promise a balance between spin, speed, and power, enabling the player to unlock hybrid energy. Rakza X features a top sheet and a ‘power sponge,’ allowing the player to have a firm grip. The brand has received significant recognition far and wide for its resourceful rubber invention. They sell many quality table tennis products, such as balls, nets, rubbers, bags, blades, and bats. Offices Yasaka’s head office is in Tokyo, whereas the blade factory is in Sweden. 7. Victas Brand OFFICIAL WEBSITE Noriyuki Suzuki started the company in 1931 in Kitaoji, Tokyo. In the beginning, the company specialized in manufacturing celluloid balls and then expanded its product line to produce equipment for players worldwide. Victas played a critical role in the evolution of table tennis. The brand was part of several mergers in the past, and its name changed a few times. The current name, Victas Company Ltd., was adapted in 2017 after letting go of Yamato Takkyu Company Limited. The name Victas combines the Japanese word Ashita, which means tomorrow, and Victory’s English word. Achievement journey 1946- Takashi Suzuki Peace -TSP- is founded (we currently know it as Total Support for Players). 1959- Founding Yamato Industries 1963- Yamato Industries changes its name to Yamato Takkyu Company Ltd. 1970- Company exports products and releases Pimple Out rubber Spectol. 1981- Yamato Takkyu offers to sponsor the Chinese national team with clothes for ten years. 1983- The company works with TSP Tischtennnis GmbH (a European distributor) in Germany. 2009- Koji Matsushita becomes the representing director after merging with Astour Co. 2011-The company launches Victas as a new brand. 2017- Koji Matsushita retires as the president, and Yoshinori Kodama takes over as president and CEO. It also established head offices in Tokyo and Osaka. The company was also renamed Victas while simultaneously running two table tennis brands- TSP and Victas. Products and offices Japan produces most of the TSP rubbers and balls. Takashi Suzuki wanted to coin a name for World War 2, which had the word peace, so he came up with Takashi Suzuki Peace. The company then opted to use ‘Total Support for Players’ as a branding. TSP is popular for long-pimple and pimples-out rubbers in the table tennis market. Production is done in Germany, China, and Japan. Some of the products they manufacture are bags, rubbers, bats, nets, tables, robots, balls, clothing, and blades. There are sales offices in Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sapporo, Osaka, and Tokyo. In Japan, they have about 50 employees and 7 in Germany. The office in Germany serves all of Europe with approximately 400 distributors, whereas the office in Japan serves the rest of the world. Yamato table tennis Europe (in Flein, Germany) and Yamato table tennis China (in Shanghai) are overseas consolidated subsidiaries. Also, Ventus rubber and ping pong tables are produced in Germany, and they make blades in Japan and China. The company takes about 20% of Japan’s table tennis market. Sponsorships Koki Niwa is perhaps the most outstanding player under Victas besides YutoMuramatsu and Kenji Matsudaira. Famous for his chop blocks, Koki Niwa has been among the top ranks in the sport. As an honor of their hard work, dedication, and advanced skill level, Victas gives the group of top players the ‘Advisory Board.’ They take up the responsibility of guiding the latest developments. Having such a qualified team, it is no wonder Victas manufactures products that meet the essential needs of players with distinct skill sets. Victas stands out because of its longevity in the production of table tennis equipment and its consistency for over 85 years. Therefore, it is worth trying it! Other Table Tennis Brands When shopping for table tennis equipment, it is essential to know that not all table tennis brands are created equal. You may have heard of some, but others might be new to you. Donic Cornilleau Gewo Andro Dr. Neubauer Asian Table Tennis Brands It is challenging to create a good table tennis brand in Asia, but the listed brands have managed to do it. They are not only well-known and respected within their own country but also internationally recognized for your company to become an Asian table tennis brand that people know about both at home and abroad. DHS – Double Happiness Sanwei Yinhe Double Fish Xiom Table Tennis Brands for Robots If you’re looking for table tennis brands to use in your ping pong robot, we recommend looking into Power Pong Table Tennis. For years, they have been at the forefront of innovation and quality with their products. They are constantly coming out with innovations to improve old ones or create something entirely new. For example, all while staying true to what made them great in the first place! Newgy Power Pong IPong Practice Partner Paddle Palace Y & T We hope this blog post was helpful in your quest for Ping Pong Robot Brands. So, good luck finding a brand worthy of being used by our machines! The takeaway from table tennis brands Firstly, it is undoubtedly challenging to find a brand that is the ultimate best, whose products tick 100% of the boxes. Another issue could be getting information on these brands. Secondly, some brands give plenty of information, while others provide very little on the internet. For example, the Gewo brand is popular for table tennis rubbers. Moreover, if you want to make sure your table tennis equipment is top-of-the-line, the best way to do it is by investing in brands that are known for their high quality. Therefore, the information provided in this article should help you, as a consumer of table tennis products, to choose your preferred brand. The brands listed in this article are unquestionably exclusive. I hope that this blog post has helped you learn more about table tennis brands. If there is anything else or any other questions, please ask in the comments below, and we will get back to you as soon as possible!  

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Table Tennis Psychology Guide (Mental Training Tips 2022)

Perhaps you want to become a better player or gain a psychological edge in your next table tennis game. This guide to table tennis psychology contains tips and advice from the freshest minds and calculative strategies to prosper. Also, you will learn psychological techniques used most commonly by table tennis players to achieve competitive advantages over their opponents. Understanding Table Tennis Psychology “Psychology” is the scientific study of the mind of humans and behavior in a particular action. Sports psychology is the scientific study of a particular sport and has two major branches: The academic discipline covers cultural diversity, health benefits, and much more. Applied science focuses on successful performance and players’ overall well-being. Hence, table tennis psychology is the way we think about, analyze and prepare for the sport. While we don’t have the means to understand the mental secret of successful performance from one table tennis player to the next, we can use the systematic study of sports psychology to refine and shape the mental game.  The goal of using psychology in table tennis strives to meet three fundamentals: Building the mental skills critical for successful performance. De-cluttering the psychological barriers linked to unfortunate events like after-injury or unsuccessful performance. Gaining the overall well-being. What Are The Areas of Table Tennis Psychology There are three areas of table tennis psychology that coaches and sports psychologists work on three areas of the psychological aspect of table tennis. These three areas of psychology in table tennis are: Performance Development: Performance development refers to helping athletes develop the skills and competencies necessary to perform well under pressure. Personality Development: It is widely agreed that personality contributes to a player’s success or failure; hence the goal is to develop a healthier personality. Mental Health: If you are psychologically healthy, you are bound to perform better; hence the goal is to develop mental health for better performance. How Psychology Influences Your Performance As A Table Tennis Player A study revealed that table tennis players imbued with better psychological strategies and techniques are more successful in regulating their mental and psychological skills. Elite athletes use individual psychological methods and techniques to excel in their performance or advance their table tennis careers. As a table tennis player, you will be confronted with many different situations that might cause you to lose your composure. However, if your psychology is correct, you will be able to overcome these obstacles imposed by your opponents. It’s a fact that psychology differs from one table tennis player to another. Coaches, sports psychologists, and elite athletes work collaboratively to develop and implement different psychological skills programs for improving the athlete’s performance. What Table Tennis Psychological Skills & Techniques Can You Master? The New York Professor of neuroscience and psychology and a team of researchers at the American Museum of Natural History established that table tennis requires using 89% sensorial parts of the brain rather than muscles. Not much of a surprise; chess came first that utilizes 98% of mental parts. What does this stat mean? This stat means that two-thirds of the table tennis game relies on the mental aspect. Let’s learn the mental techniques and strategies that can help you develop your table tennis psychology for better performance. Table tennis psychological techniques include mental training methods as the following: Creating Mental Imagery/Visualization Creating positive mindset Self-motivation and self-realization Self-talk exercises Concentration/focus training Setting challenging but realistic goals The Concept of Self-Imagery & Visualization Imaging or visualizing is a powerful tool for improving performance in table tennis. Many of us are familiar with the term “visualization,” which refers to imagery. Using self-imagery/visualization can be helpful when you’re preparing for a match, during the match, getting feedback on your performance, and correcting mistakes. When you’re strategically planning your play, before matches, during matches, and afterward, visualizing the game in your mind can help. It can also help with practice and training. For example, imagining yourself in a match reinforces muscle memory and keeps your body conditioned for gameplay. How Can You Improve Mental Imagery? The P.E.T.T.L.E.P Model of Imagery by Holmes and Collins’ (2001) is most preferred in table tennis psychology. The P.E.T.T.L.E.P. model helps people imagine how they will perform different activities, based on the work of Jeannerod and other researchers. The P.E.T.T.L.E.P. is an acronym for six elements that stands for: Physical: To get your creativity flowing, try to imagine the physical characteristics of the space. Environment: Imagine the environment it is in using all five senses -sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell. Imagine yourself on stage, in the spotlights. How does this feel? What can you hear? What do you see? Task: To perform a task well, try to imagine in detail the relevant characteristics of the task. Imagine yourself as a competent performer of the task or see others performing it well. Timing: Imagine the timing of action in slow motion and fast motion. Learning: Review how you will adapt as your experience level increases. If you can’t learn from your mistakes, you will never develop as a player. Each time you make a mistake, try to think about what went wrong and hopefully change your strategy to avoid committing the same error again. By asking yourself what you did wrong, you are trying to answer two questions: What did I do right? What should I have done differently? Table Tennis Psychology – The Emotion Feel how you would in a real-life situation and avoid feeling fear or panic. How can you deal with anxiety? The best way to manage anxiety is to understand the following: 1. Anxiety is normal in sports, 2. Mild anxiety is often helpful, not harmful, 3. Take deep breaths and practice different techniques to help reduce anxiety. Successfully managing anxiety in table tennis requires a player to realize that nervousness is a normal part of the sport. A player needs to look at anxiety as an indication of motivation and not low achievement, learn techniques for reducing anxiety, and realize that how you deal with anxiety affects how you perform under pressure. Perspective: Some tasks are better suited for seeing things from the first person, whereas other tasks are better suited for seeing things from the third person. A first-person perspective (through your own eyes) may be better for tasks with open skills. On the other hand, a third-person perspective (like watching yourself on a video) is preferred for form and positioning tasks. The Concept of Positive Psychology in Table Tennis Table tennis players must strive to develop positive psychology. After all, positive people are more likely to succeed. A positive mental attitude is one of the most important things you can develop in table tennis. The reason for this is that if you do have a positive attitude, it will complement your fighting spirit and the love of table tennis that already exists in your passion. You improve your game by improving your mental attitude, not any other way around. The most referred and quoted positive psychology theory is from the famous psychologist, author, and educator Seligman. P.E.R.M.A. is the acronym of Seligman’s theory in summary. It stands as follows: Positive Emotions: Nurturing positive emotion is easier said than done in the face of adversities. But positive emotions are when a player feels satisfied and excited, and all of these are connected to successful outcomes. Engagement: Engagement refers to the passion for concentration on the court. We will learn how to improve concentration on the court in the upcoming sections. Relationships: What fuels positive emotions are building relationships; as Christopher Peterson, the esteemed Professor of psychology and organization studies, puts it in simple words: “other people matter” [source]. As a matter of fact, a player is expected to carry good sportsmanship on the court. Good sportsmanship refers to carrying a sense of fellowship. Meaning: It is essential to figure out the true meaning and the purpose of the work on action. This point has a lot to do with self-motivation, which will learn in the upcoming sections. Accomplishments: Accomplishment is the pursuit of mastery. Pursuing accomplishment activates positive emotions and a sense of purpose. How To Create Positive Mental Attitude? Optimism and a positive mental attitude are not habits you can find in everyone. Some people are naturally optimistic. The rest of us need to work at it, and research has shown that attitude is a skill that can be learned. How can you create a positive mental attitude? Here’s how. Make Acquaintance With Positive-Minded People: To maintain a positive attitude, it’s to associate yourself with people that share your goals and dreams. Don’t go it alone. If you want to succeed, find someone in your life—a friend, a coach, or an idol—who puts the same effort into their dreams as you put into yours. It’s also important that you have a coach who understands the importance of your mental game and someone who can guide you in becoming mentally stronger. Practice Thinking Positive: A positive mental attitude refers to a positive view of oneself, one’s behavior, and one’s future. When an athlete has a positive mental attitude, they believe that even during times when losing seems imminent, hard work can eventually lead to victory. These athletes accept themselves and their abilities while remaining confident, still believing they will achieve success in life and on the court. Timo Boll – Mental Strength See, your initial success can’t be predicted, and you’ll only get better with time. Thinking about the worst that can happen will make you do worse. What are different thoughts you can have while playing table tennis to help you: -build confidence -create persistence in your shots -train yourself to stay focused -reduce negative thoughts. Focus On The Process, And Stay Positive: How can you stay positive on the court when facing a challenge from the opponent? Start with the assumption you can do it. Be positive about your situation and be persistent with it. Think that you are capable of winning, and you will be. When practicing, focus on the process, not the results: It is important to strive for improvement and not perfection: Think as if you are a lifelong learner of the game. The Concept of Self-Motivation Psychology in Table Tennis A recent study published by the Journal of Sports Sciences concludes that self-motivation plays a great role in reducing performance anxiety and producing favorable outcomes in table tennis. You can play table tennis because it’s personally rewarding you, which can be in many ways. Perhaps you like the feeling of doing good at it.  On the other hand, what drives extrinsically motivated table tennis players is the material reward such as titles or trophies or the need to gain social recognition. So, two types of factors/motivators drive one to play table tennis- this can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. If you are passionate about playing table tennis, it is internal motivation. If you play table tennis because of external perception like social recognition, it is external motivation. There are pros and cons attached to both of them. How To Build and Nurture Self-Motivation? What matters most is to realize what motivates you to play table tennis and to keep yourself abreast with it. This is the concept of the Self-Determination theory. Without first realizing your key motivation, you can’t nurture it. You can measure your self-motivation by answering and then assessing the following 6 motivational regulations: I play table tennis because: I enjoy it It’s a part of who I am It teaches me self-discipline I would feel guilty if I quit I feel pressure from other people to play The reasons are not clear to me anymore From time to time, it is essential for self-reflection. Based on the above key points, you can nurture and keep your self-motivation abreast. Ask yourself what your motivation is. What do you want to achieve? Is it to be the best player in your club? Or county or region? Is it to win gold at the Olympics? Or to get into the world’s top 100 as a pro player? Please do it. You have to know what you want before you can begin to work out how to get there. Achieving something essential and worthwhile for yourself is an incredibly powerful motivator, especially if it’s been a life-long ambition. You will improve more quickly and reach higher levels of play than ever before because your motivation is stronger than that of other players who don’t have such a clear goal in mind. If you lack motivation, I would like to encourage you to take a break from table tennis for about two weeks. After this time, you will find that you have the urge to play again and that your motivation for doing so is much stronger than it was before. Getting Started Find a date in your diary on which you want to start table tennis again. This might be after a vacation or after Christmas or just some time in the future when you have free. Set yourself a target of how many days away this date is (e.g., it’s five days away) and set up an alarm in your phone as a reminder. When this alarm goes off, adjust the number of days until your next alarm by five (e.g., it will be 10 days away). Decide on at least three things that you can do when that alarm goes off: a) Watch some pro table tennis online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBQ_w1TEVi8) b) Enter an upcoming tournament (https://www.teamusa.org/usa-table-tennis/events) c) Read some tips and advice on table tennis (Blog Articles – Tabletennistop – Players – History – Table Tennis Blog) Returning to table tennis after a break is easy; it’s staying motivated that can sometimes be tricky. If you want to avoid taking long breaks in the future, try using one or more of the following techniques: Be clear about what makes you want to play table tennis in the first place. Is it simply doing something physical? Enjoyment of competition? Or maybe it’s the social side of table tennis that keeps you coming back? Knowing what motivates you will help you focus your efforts on finding ways to keep that motivation going. Find other ways to enjoy table tennis apart from just playing matches. Watching videos of top players on YouTube or practicing drills are good ways of remembering why you started playing in the first place. They don’t require much physical effort, so they can easily fit in around your training schedule. The Concept of Self-Talk in Table Tennis Psychology Positive self-talk is a technique applied in sports psychology. Self-talk is the internal dialogue we have with ourselves. It can be used to help us with all kinds of things, but it has some significant uses for table tennis players. A study published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology concludes that positive self-talk is beneficial for sports performance. In table tennis, the player does not speak out loud, but inside his head, there is a constant conversation, which we often refer to as “Self-Talk.” How To Use Positive Self-Talk? The better you are at self-talk, the more you can program yourself before and during your matches. A self-talk is a form of communication with yourself, and much like any other type of communication, it can be improved by learning the right techniques, understanding how it works, and who is in control. Here are some suggestions for using self-talk to improve your game. Keep It Simple And To The Point: Your self-talk doesn’t need to be as inspiring as the motivational coach Drik Wagner. You can use simple phrases such as “Let’s do it,” and “I am set for it.” Don’t Wait For Your Inner Voice; Do It Pro-Actively: You may be silly at first, but start using them pro-actively in your practice as soon as you have picked up your phrases. Expand Your Vocabulary: Imagine some moments when you found yourself under pressure and performed very well. To give your words meaning, think about the moments in your life when you’ve been at your best. Write down the particular phrases that will remind you of those feelings. Then, use these phrases throughout the tournament. Choose one or two sentences to use before critical points and as part of a mental warm-up routine. You can say the following things to yourself when you are feeling nervous: “I’ve got this! I’m strong under pressure!” Try to remember a time when you felt good about yourself, regardless of the score. The Concept of Concentration in Table Tennis Psychology Few activities in our lives are more physically demanding than table tennis. Most things we do require the use of just one or two muscles, but our core workout comes from a different source altogether, from continuously keeping our balance, our focus, and our concentration on the next move to be made. A little contraction in the wrist muscle goes a long way. In a sport that requires precision and focus, concentration plays a critical role in the ability of the players to perform at the highest level. Considering this factor alone, it is important to be disciplined when it comes to thinking, meaning staying alert and focused. How To Stay Focused and Maintain Concentration? You have to be alert, attentive and concentrated on the court. It’s hard to do all that while trying to win a point, especially while playing competitively or at the national or international level. You need to concentrate hard and hit the ball, but this does not sound easy when you only can play a couple of rallies with one or two-minute breaks in between! Here are some suggestions to maintain concentration and stay focused when playing competitively. Ignore Distractions: It is essential to focus on your opponent. Do not let distractions get in the way of your play. But first, find out what makes you get distracted during practice. Although the crowd, the floor, and the umpire are also significant, you should focus on your opponent as you play. If you concentrate on your opponent and you are focused on the game, you’ll win the match. Tune In Your Mind: The mental coach, Bill Cole, MS, MA from Silicon Valley, suggests that it’s important to tune in your mind by doing some short breathing exercises rather than trying hard to ward off distractions. Take deep exercises and relax your muscles. Repeat these from time to time. Table Tennis Psychology – Sports Science  Also, take a sharp look at the ping pong ball both in your hand and at the opponent. Read the letterings on the ball. In this way, you can regain your concentration on the court. Stay In The Present: It’s a great job if you’ve won the opening point, but you’ll also need to win the upcoming points. In table tennis, you have to focus on winning the point in front of you. Games are broken down into sets, and each set is played out through a number of points. You have to win 11 points to win a set and three or four sets to win a match. It all starts with one point. Concentrate on that one point, and nothing else should matter. How To Set Challenging But Realistic Goals? How do you set challenging goals that push your performance without putting too much pressure on yourself? One important principle related to goal setting is that it should be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely). Here are some examples of setting short-time goals: Process Goals: A process goal is to make your performance as effortless as possible: to make every shot you play automatically. The purpose of a process goal is to eliminate or minimize the errors and bad shots in your game rather than maximize your good ones. Performance Goal: A performance goal is something you can practice to get better at. If a coach tells her team to play harder, that’s an example of a performance goal; if she tells them to win, that’s an outcome goal—and one they have no control over. Outcome Goal: When you’re working toward an outcome goal, you’re looking at the results and trying to win. You can directly control an outcome goal, like winning all three singles during your next league. I once played a league match in which I served 80% of my first serves into the service box. In fact, I was so consistent that my opponent shouted “every time!” when I served another one at one point in the third game of the match. Table Tennis Psychology – The winning routine Trying to make this statistic happen had not been one of my goals for the match. My goal was to win, and serving well would have been icing on the cake. But if you are able to keep your eye on performance goals instead of outcome goals, you will sometimes have better results even if it is not your conscious intention to do so. We all set both kinds of goals all the time. With a few exceptions, our performance goals are almost always about other people: making the team, pleasing our coach, getting a good grade on a test. Outcome goals are usually about ourselves: breaking 100, getting in shape, being able to serve in the wind. Setting Up The Outcome Goals You might think there is nothing wrong with setting outcome goals: we all want to do well, and if you don’t care how well you do relative to others, what’s wrong with setting an outcome goal like getting 80% of your forehands in play? The problem is that we are bad at distinguishing between the two. The time horizon is the difference between a performance goal and an outcome goal. A performance goal focuses on the process of getting better, such as working on your backhand. An outcome goal focuses on winning matches, such as winning five games in a row. The advantages of using a performance goal are that it’s more realistic, more motivating, and better for your long-term development. The advantage of using an outcome goal is that it’s easier to track and requires less mental effort. Table tennis psychology can be a very personal and individualized topic. What is your definition of success? Some players consider success as winning national championships, while others consider success as maintaining their passion for the sport. While the goals you set may change over time, the right mindset can help improve your game, regardless of your skill level. More Notes on Improving Mental Skills for Performance What does it require to become mentally tough? Think about the greatest table tennis players worldwide. Choose any player of your choice and try to apprehend their mental strength and how they execute their game plan. You’ll see the majority of the successful/iconic table tennis players are confident, don’t make the same mistake, and keep consistent in improving their performance. Improving Cognitive Processing Speed: Table tennis is a game to be played with the mind; much of the time, it is a battle of wits. Your opponent is trying to outwit and sometimes intimidate you. The better you are at recognizing this in a given situation, the less often you’ll find yourself on the receiving end of unpleasant surprises. That’s why it is essential to read your opponent’s mind beforehand. Becoming A Good Thinker: Good table tennis players are good thinkers, too. Their thinking must be good enough to coordinate their paddle work and vision in time and space while immersed in an intense rally. Just as important, they have to be able to change tactics quickly, moving from defensive strategy at one point to aggressive offense in the next and back again. A very skilled player can flip from one game plan to another on a dime during a single stroke as the situation changes. The best players can also memorize hundreds of patterns, each with its own best counter-strategy. This is far more than mere physical skill. What Are The Challenges Of  Table Tennis Psychology? The challenge of table tennis psychology is something that a lot of table tennis players face. The task is not to get lost in the pressure and the nerves. The task is to stay in control of your actions and do what you’ve practiced thousands of times. You need to be mentally strong, for it is far easier at this point to make mistakes. Sometimes you might step onto the court thinking you are in control, only to find yourself questioning yourself after the first rally has finished. This guide on table tennis psychology is compiled to help you learn more about the pressures, emotions, and responsibilities of being a professional table tennis player and tips that can help improve your mental strength. The quote “You beat your mind, not your competition” is a great example of the momentum you need to win. Competitive table tennis is a psychological game as well as physical; you must believe that you can win even when it doesn’t appear so. If you have never played competitively against an opponent who seems to be superior to yourself, then consider this, when you are playing in a less experienced league or just playing for fun, your confidence is high. You play better than at an important tournament where your lack of experience could cost you. You will only learn from competing against better players because it makes you work harder and gives you something to strive for. Table Tennis Psychology – Conclusion In this Table Tennis Psychology Guide, we’ve covered a lot of information about game psychology. It is a hugely important part of improving your game, but it should not be underestimated. You need to focus on your own game but understand how your opponent works as well. Take note that there are some proven psychological tactics and mind games you can use in your matches, these will take time to master, but they will make all the difference against an opponent with no understanding or awareness of the mental game. Although we talked about a wide range of topics in the guide, from practices to mindset, one of the key takeaways is to remain positive and believe in your capabilities. This can be difficult when you make mistakes or lose a match, but try to keep a good mental approach to avoid burning out. That said, I hope that you enjoyed the guide and will take learnings from it. Feel free to contact us directly regarding any of the raised points.  

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7 Common Table Tennis Injuries

Every sport leaves its players vulnerable to injuries; therefore, table tennis injuries are not an exception. Who would think that table tennis, a non-contact sport, would expose its players to any injury? The importance of relaxation in table tennis  Table tennis (also called ping pong) is an indoor sport that requires less movement than other racket sports such as lawn tennis. For this reason, it is taken as the least dangerous compared to the rest. However, this does not cancel out the possibility of injury during a game. Thus, players are encouraged to be proactive and avoid injuries. Let us discuss seven common table tennis injuries and guide you on how to protect yourself. 1. Shoulder Pain It is one of the most common injuries in table tennis that players experience, so we will invest more time unpacking it. The shoulder is the most flexible and fluid part of the body, allowing it to have a wide range of movements during play. It is usually put to use when making sudden rapid movements. Thus, the shoulder is more susceptible to injury than any other part because of its mobility. A player may suffer complete or partial dislocation of the shoulder, muscle pain, or tendon tear around the shoulder’s ball and socket joint. Shoulder pain may occur due to playing for too long without adequate rest, overusing the same technique, or wrong execution of a particular technique. More strain and discomfort are felt in the hand that handles the paddle because the hand hits the ball continuously and serves as the recipient of the excess pressure exerted. How to protect yourself from shoulder pain? First and foremost, avoid overworking your forearm muscles. This saves you the trouble of seeking treatment since you avoided the injury altogether. Prevention is better than cure! Take breaks during practice sessions or games to not overexert your muscles. Overuse of muscles leads to them wearing out and tearing. Besides that, avoid exerting too much pressure on the shoulder when playing. The body can utilize energy more effectively if it is sourced from the center of mass and then distributed evenly to other parts. Also, generating strength from large body muscles such as the glutes, hips, and hamstrings saves smaller muscles from wearing out when playing. Power derived from the large muscles is also more effective than delivering mighty shots. Moreover, mastering your skill in a particular technique so that you do not apply it incorrectly is another measure to avoid injury. Always ensure your shoulders are in the correct posture while playing to be correctly balanced. We spend many hours seated and gazing into televisions, laptops, or phones. With time we develop a slouching posture because of bending our backs inwards. How to fix shoulder pain? One way of telling whether your back is in the correct alignment is by standing upright with your arms dropped to your sides. Relax, keep your eyes straight ahead, and then point your thumbs out. If your thumbs slightly bend to point towards your body, your shoulders are internally rotated. Alternatively, your shoulder positioning is quite good if they form parallel lines. You need to engage in specific workout exercises for shoulders that are rotated internally (towards the body’s center). Internally rotated shoulders are usually a sign of weak back muscles because they are underused. These workout exercises help in the proper alignment of your shoulders and strengthen both internal and external muscles of your upper body and the rotator cut off. Such drills include foam rolling, pull-ups, seated cable rows, and mobility exercises like band pull-apart. Consistently accommodating these into your workouts 3-5 times a week gradually bulletproofs your shoulders. On top of that, you can participate in some light cardio warm-up exercises to raise your body temperature in readiness for the game. These drills include leg lunges, mountain climbers, planks, and butt kickers. After warming up, perform self-myofascial release and static and dynamic stretching exercises while alternating or combining them. In a severe shoulder injury, seek timely treatment from an orthopedic specialist or a physiotherapist. The recovery period can take weeks or months before the shoulder resumes its normal functioning, and it may require rehabilitation. Please do not ignore the injury. It only aggravates the situation. If the injury is mild, treatment may entail sufficient rest of the injured part and alternate heat and cold packs. 2. Knee Table Tennis Injuries Table tennis players make unpredictable and swift movements as they execute a technique or save a point. They may get overambitious and push the body beyond its limits. Besides being one of the most common table tennis injuries that players nurse, knee injuries are also the most serious ones. A mild knee fracture may occur in severe cases due to a fracture or ligament or tendon tear in the knee area. This may result in twisting or bending their knees or falling on their knees due to the quick shift from left to right. Such knee injuries are common table tennis injuries similar to ankle sprains. They are both caused by the player’s quick movements during the game. How to protect yourself from knee injuries A simple prevention measure to avoid injuries is wearing a knee wrap or strap as you play to secure the knee area. It is even more advisable to wear a knee brace with a hole in the center. This ensures the patella remains in its position and keeps it safeguarded. While playing, see that you get into a receiving position as soon as you have delivered your shot to avoid straining when your opponent shoots back. It is also important to hone your technique to avoid wrong execution by throwing yourself at a shot. Besides that, consistently take part in physical exercises to fit your body and remain agile. This will make it easier for you to make fast movements from right to left without a hitch. The knee joint is very sensitive. Timely consultation of a physician is therefore advised in case of an injury. In mild cases, take medication prescribed by the physician, get plenty of rest and avoid overusing the knee. If the case is severe, such as a knee fracture, treatment may entail surgery and physiotherapy. This means that it is likely to take a long time to heal completely, probably even months. 3. Tennis Elbow Tennis elbow is also referred to as lateral epicondylitis or elbow pain. It is a condition characterized by pain and inflammation of the elbow joint as a consequence of overexerting the tendons in the elbow. Many mistakes a tennis elbow for a golfer’s elbow. To iron things out, a golfer’s elbow affects the internal part of the elbow, whereas the tennis elbow affects the external part of the elbow. It is caused by repetitive movement of the forearm, overexertion of arms and forearms, and poor playing technique. It is excruciatingly painful; hence its treatment may take longer. How to protect yourself from tennis elbow injuries Experts advise players to allow ample time to rest for the hands and forearms. It is also helpful to work on your coordination and balance to avoid falling on your elbow during a game (although it is pretty rare). If a severe injury occurs, stop any activity that causes pain and consult a physiotherapist. You can engage in exercises under their supervision to aid in quick recovery. When gradually reintroducing table tennis during recovery after an injury, poor delivery of a stroke worsens the injury. Either the elbow or the wrist receives the energy resulting in further damage to the tissues. Seek help from a qualified coach to avoid this. The recovery period for tennis elbow injuries may take months or even years. It is, therefore, crucial to address the problem by its root cause so that you can avoid delaying your play by taking such extended breaks. Here are some self-care tips that you can take when nursing an injury: Enhance the quality of the lateral epicondyle tissue by engaging the area in foam rolling. Perform exercises that strengthen the muscles and improve flexibility, especially on the forearm. Build strength in the entire body and learn to obtain power from utilizing larger muscles like the shoulders and hips. Depending entirely on the elbow and the wrist muscles when playing exerts too much pressure on them and quickens tearing. You can reintroduce table tennis progressively into your workout routine but not overdo it. Allow your coach to assess your skill level and technique to correct any shortcomings in your stroke. After the pain and swelling have died down, you can apply heat to the hurt area. The heat helps relax the muscles and ease the tension resulting from partial immobility. It also causes the blood vessels in the area to dilate, allowing increased blood flow. The blood carries nutrients to nourish the injured tissue and carries away dead cells and cell debris from the injured area to facilitate a speedy recovery. 4. Sprained ankle This is an acute injury that ranges in its intensity. It comes about when a player suddenly turns sharply or is imbalanced and puts too much effort as they deliver a stroke. Sprained ankles are one of the very common table tennis injuries. The most likely cause of a sprained ankle is the excessive force applied to the foot during play. This can result from running or jumping too quickly and planting your weight onto one leg. This condition often occurs when players do not wear supportive equipment such as adequate shoes with proper support for their toes. What are the symptoms of a sprained ankle? The most common sign that you have suffered an injury to your foot or toes on the bottom side (plantar) may be a pain when putting weight onto it. You can also experience swelling and bruising, making movement difficult for some time afterward. However, these should improve with rest alone. So, you can provide it. There’s no tearing present in either case! Other signs include feeling less stable while walking/standing up quickly; intuitively knowing how far away things were placed from us due to their proximity without seeing them first-hand. How to protect yourself from sprained ankle table tennis injuries? Use shoes that are comfortable to play in. They should specifically have a low heel and a firm grip. Experts advise players to use footwear specially designed for table tennis since they can accommodate the players’ motions without exposing them to injuries. Table tennis can have adverse repercussions on the lower body. That being said, resistance training is recommended to strengthen the lower body muscles. On several occasions, resistance training is underrated. Best Table Tennis Shoes From Amazon People assume that others lift weights or do push-ups to build their bodies into the ‘perfect’ shape. Resistance training strengthens the muscles and power of the body and increases the body’s ability to endure a resistant force and eventually defeat it. It also helps to minimize the energy used when moving fast and unpredictably to exert lesser pressure on the lower body. Set yourself in a ready position immediately after delivering a shot to avoid straining when your opponent strikes. You can alternatively work on strengthening the flexibility of your ankle joint. You can do foam rolling drills to strengthen the calves, and you can utilize a golf ball for rolling out the foot. Additional flexibility and mobility exercises can be incorporated into your workout, such as the knee-to-wall exercise for ankle mobility and the rocking ankle mobilization technique. Single-leg exercises are another category of exercises that improve maintenance of balance and proper coordination and build on strength. These exercises make the ankle joint more resistant to twisting and maximize its stability. Furthermore, you can liaise with a qualified coach to help you properly coordinate your footwork. Simply being in total control of your lower limbs dramatically reduces the chances of injuries. Always seek medical attention as soon as possible because a sprained ankle is a severe injury. 5. Calf Strain A calf strain is a common injury in table tennis. Many of these can be caused by factors, including overusing your legs and playing on an uneven surface. However, you can be too tired from practicing plays that require heavy calf muscles. It’s always best to stop before any physical symptoms arise! A calf strain table tennis injury can be quite painful and require surgery. The muscle on the front of your leg, also called gastrocnemius or knee flexor, originates from below it meets with one’s tibia (lower end). Also, being attached further along its length crosses over both sides to give more stability. For example, our entire lower body when we bend forward during running. So, if you think back to what some people do while playing sports like football, then this would make sense! It works together with other muscles. Calf strains can be described as a tightness felt in the calves as a player plays. It often comes from the player overusing their calf muscles without proper rest. Interestingly, long periods of simply standing during the game are enough to cause calf strain. The dominant cause of this injury is fatigue of the muscles. How to protect yourself from a calf strain? Please take part in light warm-up exercises to prepare the muscles for the game and relax them. Playing with relaxed muscles is a measure to avoid injuries. Another tip on protecting yourself from injuries is to distribute moments of rest in between periods of vigorous play. Having some rest during play is necessary to avoid straining the calf muscles. Rest is most likely all you will need to nurse a calf strain. A day or two of relaxing should do the trick. Where extreme pain is experienced, please consult a physician since it may warrant physiotherapy to assist the muscle in healing. 6. Muscle Strain Table Tennis Injuries Several table tennis players have, at one point, complained about a pain that restricts movement in their thigh muscles, neck, back, or even shoulders. This is the infamous muscle strain, also called the pulled muscle. It occurs when a muscle is overstretched, worn out, and torn. The causes of muscle strain are instant and speedy moves while playing, fatigue of the muscles, playing without a proper warm-up, and inadequate rest since most players stubbornly insist on playing even with an injury. A muscle strain or tear could happen when a player strains their back muscles while executing certain shots, for example, getting up from behind the service line after being down by two points with no time left on either side of them. So, this would cause frustration because now they cannot serve as well without help from another person doing so instead. Therefore, giving away more points which cause players who have just been defeated all-out to go crazy at each other until someone makes peace between opponents before things escalate even further within these types to start pushing. How to protect yourself from muscle strain? It is vital to understand that adjusting to this kind of activity will take time as you introduce your body to table tennis. Consequently, it guarantees that your muscles will protest and tire out. Don’t you worry! Consistent practice will help your body get used to the various moves as long as you avoid excessive play in the initial stages. Another measure to avoid injury is properly warming up before the game begins to relax the muscles and eliminate any stiffness. It can take 10-20 minutes. It also accelerates the heartbeat and breathing rates, increasing blood flow into the muscles. This makes them warmer. For severe tears, seek medical help and religiously follow the physician’s directions. Apply an anti-inflammatory medicine and alternate ice and heat packs for mild strains. 7. Wrist Sprain Did you know that players new to table tennis are more susceptible to wrist sprains than their veteran counterparts? Newbies have not mastered the techniques that the more experienced veterans have. Therefore, newbies generally execute techniques wrongly. Dear newbie, the biggest room in the world is room for improvement! Wrist sprains occur due to overstretching the ligaments supporting the wrist or tearing them. It may show as swelling around the injured area. As much as you can move the wrist clockwise and anticlockwise, it remains a stiff part of the hand. Swinging it intentionally or forcefully during a game causes it to have a snapping effect. When delivering a backhand shot, the wrist is mainly put to work, leaving it vulnerable to a wrist injury. Forehand strokes do not utilize the wrist. Wrist sprains’ severity varies from mild to moderate to severe, depending on how damaged the ligaments are. How to protect yourself from wrist sprain injuries It is advisable to relax the forearm muscles to unwind the wrist. Wearing a wrist band helps as the band absorbs sweat in the wrist area. Perfect your table tennis skills to make shots using a relaxed wrist and the correct technique. It would help if you were relaxed to allow smooth strokes. A relaxed composure also enables you to avoid unnecessary pressure on the wrist and keep it steady. If a wrist sprain occurs, do not hesitate to consult a doctor for assistance to protect yourself from further injuries. Additional measures to avoid table tennis injuries Believe it or not, advancing to a higher level of play has its downside. It subjects the body to more strain because of the player’s unnatural movements. These measures reduce the risk of table tennis injuries, making playing a worthwhile experience. Here are a few more tips on how to protect yourself from injuries: Keep relaxed When you are too stiff, your muscles are tightened. This prevents your body from performing quick paces because doing so strains your tendons and ligaments. So, maintain your composure and remain relaxed to keep loose. Avoid handling your paddle too tightly. A looser grip results in more effortless movement of the arm, wrist, and shoulders because they are free. Cooldown! Just as warming up prepares the body for the game, cooling down generally prevents soreness of the muscles. Of course, many know that they should cool down, but very few do so. Skipping cool-down drills may cause painful muscle cramps after an intense game. We recommend static stretches as cool-down drills. Injury-specific workouts You can engage in stretching and strengthening exercises if you are worried about managing a particular injury. However, do not perform any activity that awakens pain! You can collaborate with your therapist to develop exercises to help heal the injury. Yoga and Pilates have been known to come in handy to work on strength and overall flexibility because they reduce the risk of injuring muscles and tendons. Improve footwork Poor footwork can lead to stumbling, twisting knees, bumping into your partner, or throwing yourself at a shot that strains the knees, shoulder joints, and back muscles. When playing, a good posture calls for your left foot to be slightly behind your right foot (if you are left-handed), your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and your upper body inclined forwards. Instead of stretching for the ball, your intention should stop or hit the ball. Get into a ready position to receive the ball after playing a shot to minimize stress on the body. Table Tennis Injuries – Final thoughts As we have explored, table tennis injuries are numerous, each with its unique intensity. Taking measures to avoid injuries does not nullify getting hurt. It only reduces the chances. You should always consult a doctor in the event of an injury and avoid procrastination. Self-treatment is only recommended in mild cases. These tips will indeed prove to be helpful as you learn how to protect yourself from table tennis injuries. If you are a table tennis player, it is essential to take care of your body. We have provided some general guidelines for prevention and treatment if an injury does occur. It’s always best to be proactive, but don’t hesitate to reach out if something does happen! In addition, don’t forget about exercises like hand splints or carpal tunnel stretches, which a doctor may recommend if you think there might be nerve damage present. These will help keep your muscles strong and prevent any more strain on your arm and fingers nerves caused by overuse during play.  

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Why Do Chinese Players Dominate Table Tennis? (Intensive Training)

Chinese players dominate table tennis for several reasons. Another World Championship is behind us, and China won gold medals again in the men’s and women’s singles competitions. Fan Zhendong is the World Champion in the men’s singles and Wang Manyu in the women’s singles category. Is it a coincidence? Of course not, find out further in the article why Chinese players dominate table tennis. WTTC Houston Finals – Top 7 Points Chinese players dominate table tennis because it is the source of their national pride that they have been rendering since 1953 when China entered the World Table Tennis Championship. Since 1959, China has stood unparallel by winning the highest men’s titles at the Olympics and medals. A total of 405 out of 1483 in the World Table Tennis Championship. With the upcoming World Table Tennis Championships Finals scheduled on 25th November, the best players worldwide and fiercest rivals aim to seize the Chinese table tennis supremacy. But this year, China challenges the World Championship with a younger squad replacing the Grand Slam winner, Ma Long, and Star duos as Liu Shiwen and Xu Xin. The Chinese Table Tennis Association is confident that its talented players will keep the Chinese domination intact and now eyes 2024 Olympics. Many critics question the driving forces influencing Chinese players’ domination in table tennis at such feats and height. The nation of China occupies the highest percentage of the worldwide table tennis population with the most successful table tennis champions. So, won the highest number of medals in Olympic Table Tennis events. China National Team The Chinese players’ supremacy in table tennis is also because it safeguards their national interests and establishes their authority in global sports. Also, they target high and currently the nation winning most of the Olympic table tennis medals. Hence, the Nationalist government’s ability to dream, plan, and strategize. Moreover, cultural confidence led the Chinese players to dominate table tennis worldwide. It’s true that China has successfully produced the highest number of world table tennis champions. However, other factors attribute to China’s domination in table tennis. Rivals, authors, and coaches typically refer to three theories to explain why Chinese players dominate table tennis. Table Tennis is the national sport in China, and the sport is ingrained in the Chinese culture, which works as the biggest competitive advantage for the Chinese table tennis players. With more than 19 million active table tennis players and 15 million licensed table tennis players, China can produce the highest number of best world table tennis players in the world. China is also the nation with the highest number of table tennis clubs. A recent survey conducted in 2019 reveals approximately one million table tennis courts in China. In addition, China dominates table tennis with the highest number of medal counts in the World Championship and Olympics. The Chinese table tennis federation employs innovative training techniques. A three-tier training program, tactics like the blue partnership. Digital innovations give players a competitive advantage in international competitions. The three theories are the most significant lead to the Chinese dominance in table tennis. In addition, several strategies and national policies attribute to China’s leadership in table tennis. Keep reading to learn about China’s unique approach and strategies to global table tennis domination. Rise Of The Chinese Domination In Table Tennis Although table tennis was introduced in China in 1901, the nation entered the World Championship for the first time in 1953. Before 1953, Hungary dominated table tennis. The Czech Republic and Great Britain were also highly competitive during that time. Later on, Japan became the dominant player in the late 1950. The Chinese players began to dominate table tennis worldwide when they won three consecutive World titles from 1961 to 1965. China won 23 out of 32 medals in the 1965 world table tennis championship and was deemed the strongest table tennis nation. Due to the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese players did not participate in the 1967 and 1969 World table tennis championships. 1971 was an important year of table tennis in China. It was the year when China re-emerged in world table tennis with Ping Pong Diplomacy. The Chinese invited American and England players to China for a series of friendly matches. The Chinese players won 10 out of 32 medals in the 1971 world table tennis championship. China dominated the 1973 world table tennis championship, ranking first in the men’s singles with 9 out of 32 medals. But the domination of Chinese players was shaken in the 1975 world table tennis championship. Then, the Chinese were unable to win men’s singles titles for the first time. However, they secured a total of 5 out of 32 medals in the 1975 world championship. Here we share the Chinese table tennis rankings by World Championships since 1926. World Table Tennis Championships (1926-2018) The Chinese stayed consistent in the 1977 world table tennis championship, securing 17 out of 32 medals. 1979 was yet another year of Chinese players dominating table tennis. The Chinese won 4 out of 7 titles in the 1979 world table tennis championship. They secured 20 out of 32 medals. 1981, 1983, 1985, and 1987 were the years of China’s total triumph in table tennis. The Chinese players won all 7 of the events and secured the most medals consecutively from 1981 to 1987. China’s dominance in World table tennis championships continued onwards, hailing with the best table tennis World Champions in the 20s. Zhang Jike, Wang Liqin, Wang Hao, and Xu Xin were the notable players from 2001 to 2013, making the nation unbeatable in table tennis. The 2015 World table tennis championship took place in China for the fifth time. The Chinese players kept dominating the championship by winning most of the world titles. Also, they score the highest number of medals. The Three-Tier Approach To Developing Table Tennis Champions No such country has invested nearly as much as China in developing table tennis players for the national team. The three-tier infrastructure of table tennis in China provides a step-by-step approach to producing world champions in table tennis. The first tier starts by picking young Chinese talents from table tennis college, the only college dedicated in the world solely to table tennis. Apart from that, each school in China has at least one table tennis training club where kids start training from age 6. Almost 20,000 competitive young Chinese athletes with the hope of ascending to the second-tier, the provincial team. Only 263 join the Chinese provincial team among thousands of young talents, and only 100 of the best players make it to the Chinese Table Tennis National Team. A Year-Round Competition Between Various Leagues And The National Team China’s table tennis domination in the world brews from their home, where 10 million players compete for securing their position on the Chinese National team. Only a selected few make it to the Chinese national team. There’s pressure even after being part of the national team. That’s because there is always a potential player outside waiting to get in the national team. Setting The Highest Targets China imbues its players with an unbreakable commitment to one sport, be it table tennis or a power sport, and all through the year, they are trained to be a world champions in table tennis. The Chinese recognize themselves as superior in only sport at international levels, table tennis. Table tennis in China is about securing the most golds at World Table Tennis Championship and particularly at the Olympics. As of the 2020 World Table Tennis Championships, China ranks first, with 40 titles and holding 405 out of 1483 medals since joining the World Table Tennis Championship in 1953. China continues table tennis supremacy by ranking the 1st country with the highest number of medals in the table tennis Olympics. In addition, as of the 2020 Olympics Table Tennis Championship, China ranks first, holding a total of 60 out of 115 medals since table tennis was introduced to the Olympics in 1988. China’s rival, South Korea, stands with a big difference by holding a total of 18 medals, and Japan ranked third, securing only eight medals. Intensive Table Tennis Training Programs Why are the Chinese people good at table tennis?  Chinese players train at least seven hours a day and six days a week. The Chinese coaches implement functional training involving both serve practice and physical training. Blue partnership is another Chinese standalone table tennis training program for the national team. The players work with specialized practice partners who have spent years studying the style of top international players. They gain insights into competitors by going to tournaments and creating relationships. For example, during the 1980s, Cheng was asked to clone Tibor Klampar and later to clone Jan-Ove Waldner. Hao Shuai was asked to clone Timo Boll, and Wang Jian was asked to imitate the most dangerous opponent, Ryu Seung-min. Two-on-one practice is another Chinese innovative table tennis training method. This training method is for the best Chinese players. They do drills with two selected practice partners experts in forehand and backhand tactics. This training method pushes the best players to their limits as they practice with the strongest forehand and backhand players. However, the simplest difference that sets a competitive advantage for Chinese table tennis training is that the players focus on mastering the foundation techniques. The beginners keep practicing the fundamentals of basics repetitively to build muscle memory. Comprehensive Tactical And Mental Training As for the Chinese team, it is common practice to have one tactical meeting with sports psychologists each week. China’s sports psychologists often work with the coaches to devise strategies for opponents. The Continuous Innovation In Table Tennis Shi Zhihao, the former Chinese table tennis player and the Vice President of the International Table Tennis Federations, states that the spirit of innovation is the secret weapon of China’s dominance in table tennis. China stands forefront in table tennis innovation, from table tennis equipment to inventing new table tennis tactics. Chinese statistics from 2000 show that 61% of the global table tennis innovation in table tennis techniques and tactics are from China. China’s 5-year blueprint for 2021 to 2025 aims to increase Chinese sponsorship to raise recognition and confidence among their players. Technological innovation has been a driving factor in training and improving the performance of Chinese table tennis players. For example, China innovates the world’s first AI-enabled table tennis ball pitching robot known as Pongbot.  The robot can imitate the style of different players like Timo Boll and stimulate training. Digital technological innovations in table tennis like these certainly provide a competitive advantage to Chinese table tennis players. Chinese Players Represent As The Best Players Oversee Scores of Chinese table tennis players have gone abroad to take their superior skills and win titles in other countries. Chinese players make up the biggest proportional number of the best table tennis players globally, with Chinese-born players thriving globally. The recent explosion in the popularity of table tennis worldwide has resulted in Chinese players representing dozens of countries from Canada, Qatar, and Australia to the Congo Republic. The sudden surge of Chinese table tennis players migrating overseas sparked at the Rio Games, where Chinese-born players represented 21 out of 56 countries, of which at least 44 table tennis players out of 142 were Chinese-born. The huge number of Chinese-born table tennis representing other nations illustrates China’s influence around the globe. Chinese Players Dominate With A Strong Attacking Style The Chinese are known for their first three shots and their outstanding ability in serve and receive. Chinese players always dominate rallies from the first three strokes in global competitions. Chinese players will immediately seize the opportunity with their high skills in forehands and backhands and excellent timing when servicing. Some opponents will serve and then aggressively hit the ball with a follow-up shot after the opponent returns it. Others will take their opponents off guard by hitting quickly and quickly after receiving such service. The Role Of The Chinese Government in Leading The Chinese Players Dominate Table Tennis Worldwide Why is table tennis popular in China, once again? Given that table tennis is valued as a national sport in China. The athletes excelling at table tennis earn huge government incentives. Table tennis in China is predominantly government-driven. Government bodies administer the sport and funnel money into it to achieve international recognition. From a grassroots level to the national level, a system is in place that supports and encourages Chinese players to participate in table tennis training with enthusiasm. In addition, the Chinese government spends a lump-sum amount on table tennis training. Many of the provincial colleges and universities provide scholarship opportunities. Also, finding a job with a national table tennis certificate is easy for the Chinese. All these factors keep the Chinese table tennis athletes highly motivated to prosper and secure the title of national-level table tennis. The Chinese government is also known to pay a substantial wage to the national team and special training fees to squads. With the government’s support, the Chinese Table Tennis Association also boosts Chinese confidence by hosting a series of national championship tournaments. A vital component driving Chinese domination in table tennis is the government’s approach in promoting table tennis globally, which started with the Ping Pong Diplomacy. Chinese Players Dominate Table Tennis – Support Of The Nation In 1971, the Chinese started inviting American and England table tennis players for a series of friendly matches in China. Since then, the nation has continuously developed its friendship with other nations. The People’s Republic of China strengthens its global presence by making donations to South America and Turkey. The most recent donation made by China was seen this month. The Chinese Embassy donated the second set of 50 table tennis tables and complementary equipment to the Education Ministry of Guyana to develop the Chinese national culture of table tennis. In addition, most of the ITTF-sanctioned equipment is from China.  Another reason China dominates table tennis is that the nation is set to become the global leader in the sports industry. The remarkable success of Chinese table tennis players is making the sport a viable opportunity for the government. In the last decade, the Chinese sports industry and the number of active people (and the money they’re spending) have grown substantially. And, when it comes to setting projections for the future of table tennis, the Chinese authorities are known to target very high. The Chinese government has announced that they are targeting $773 billion in economic benefits by 2035 and will grow sports engagement in China by 38.5% by 2025. China is targeting to become the global leader in sports by 2050. How The World Views Chinese Players Dominating Table Tennis Does the world view Chinese players’ dominance in table tennis as a threat? Nations might find it difficult to top the Chinese supremacy in table tennis to win championships and titles. However, China is the only country striving to nurture table tennis culture internationally, making it a friendly nation to the world. In addition, the Chinese Table Tennis Association views its standalone championships and dominance in table tennis as somewhat monopolistic, which can be detrimental to the worldwide development of table tennis. Firstly, China is now considering training international players by inviting them to the nation. Secondly, sending Chinese coaches abroad to spread their culture and share their knowledge leads the Chinese players to dominate table tennis worldwide. Table Tennis In China: Frequently Asked Questions What is table tennis called in china? In China, the official name of table tennis is Pīngpāng qiú or Ping Pang Qui in English. When did table tennis become popular in China? Table tennis in China was first introduced in 1901. The sport was declared the national sport in 1950 by Chairman Mao. Table tennis became popular in 1953, when China entered the World Championships for the first time, and the Chinese Table Tennis Association joined the ITTF. Why is table tennis China’s national sport? Table tennis is China’s national sport because Chairman Mao decided that it was the most viable sport to boost people’s confidence. The Great Leader realized that table tennis is a good sport for many Chinese people. So, it is the most practical sport that the Chinese can master. Hence, he declared it the national sport in China in 1950. After three years since the declaration, Chinese players made the first step into the World Table Tennis Championship. Why are Chinese table tennis players very good at the game? It is not only because it is the national sport. The reason is that Chinese table tennis players go through intensive training programs for a long time. Secondly, they start basic table tennis training at a very early age. For example, Ma Long, the greatest table tennis player of all time. At ten years old, Ma Long won the 1988 “Baby Cup” in a national tournament for young players in his primary school. When he reached 18, Ma Long won the 2006 World Team Championships becoming the youngest-ever world champion. How many registered table tennis players are in China? At least 124 Chinese-born players have represented other countries in Olympics. However, 77 registered Chinese table tennis players are found in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) database. Wayback Machine (archive.org). Who are the best Chinese table tennis players of all time? Ma Long is the greatest Chinese table tennis player in the world. On the other hand, the Chinese table tennis history shows that Rong Guotuan was the first Chinese world champion. You can see the best table tennis players in the world here. From then on, China has been hailing both the Olympics and World Table Tennis Championship with more than 30 table tennis medal leaders. The top Chinese table tennis players are: Ma Lin, Fan Zhendong, Zhang Jike, Wang Hao, Fang Bo, Ding Ning, Guo Yan, Liu Shiewen, Chen Meng, Sun Yingsha has been leading the Chinese Golden Dragon to dominate the world championship till 2020.  

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Difference Between Table Tennis and Ping Pong

Is there a difference between table tennis and ping pong? Of course, there are several reasons. This article will discover all the doubts and differences between these two concepts. In the beginning, let’s discover that earlier, it was just a difference in the name with the same sport. Today, however, there is a huge difference even though many people equate these two terms. The huge difference between table tennis and ping pong The first and most important thing is that it is not the same sport. It is very similar, but today there are several things regarding the rules of the game and equipment. Another thing is the difference in competitions and recognition by the Olympic Committee. Before we describe all the differences in more detail, take a look at the table below, which indicates the difference between table tennis and ping pong in brief. Before they became two separate sports, there were only two different names for the same sport. Table tennis was invented in 1880, and after that, as it gained increasing popularity, more and more companies produced equipment for this sport. Each brand named its equipment differently, such as table tennis, ping pong, whiff waff, and pim-pam. The Parker brothers registered the trademark in 1900. However, the “Ping Pong Association” and the “Table Tennis Association” later merged at that earlier stage. Read more about the history of table tennis on our page History of table tennis. Secondly, you can find beautiful and interesting articles on Feedspot. We will now discuss the essential differences between table tennis and ping pong. 1. Trademark Name According to the International Table Tennis Federation ITTF, table tennis has existed since 1887. However, when the sport began to reach great popularity, various names were patented and protected. “Ping Pong” belonged to the English sports company John Jaques & Son, which became the market leader in 1920. After that, the players used their trademark name, and after the formation of the table tennis association, the Ping Pong Association was founded very quickly. On the American continent, the company Parker Brothers acquired the rights to the name “Ping Pong” and thus received a trademark. However, they needed an alternative name to organize the tournament, and for the clubs, it was decided to use “Table Tennis.” You can read the true story of the development and popularity of this beautiful sport in the book with over 400 photos and information: Ping Pong Fever (The Madness That Swept 1902 America) by the author Steve Grant. The Ping Pong World Championship was introduced in 2011, and since then, these have been two completely separate sports. CHECK ON AMAZON! 2. Olympic Games Table Tennis Firstly, table tennis is highly competitive and reaches the level at which the best players in the world play. It became an Olympic sport in 1988 and has been held at every Olympics ever since today. So, many competitions are held, and there are leagues in almost every country in the world. Look at the Olympic gold medal winners in table tennis from 1988 to the present day. Men’s singles: 1988 Seoul: Yoo Nam-kyu (South Korea) 1992 Barcelona: Jan-Ove Waldner (Sweden) 1996 Atlanta: Liu Guoliang (China) 2000 Sidney: Kong Linghui (China) 2004 Athens: Ryu Seung-min (South Korea) 2008 Beijing: Ma Lin (China) 2012 London: Zhang Jike (China) 2016 Rio de Janeiro: Ma Long (China) Women’s singles: 1988 Seoul: Chen Jing (China) 1992 Barcelona: Deng Yaping (China) 1996 Atlanta: Deng Yaping (China) 2000 Sidney: Wang Nan (China) 2004 Athens: Zhang Yining (China) 2008 Beijing: Zhang Yining (China) 2012 London: Li Xiaoxia (China) 2016 Rio de Janeiro: Ding Ning (China) If we talk about teams, China is the most successful country in Olympic table tennis, with 53 medals (28 gold, 17 silver, and 8 bronze). The year 2008 peaked when China won medals in the men’s and women’s competitions without precedent and won gold as a team in both competitions. Ping Pong On the other hand, ping pong is not recognized as an Olympic sport. However, there are many national and league competitions for more serious players. The rules in ping pong are less strict, which is why many people equate this term with the hobby of playing. However, that is not true because, since 2011, the World Championship has been held, especially in ping pong. Although it is not an Olympic sport and there are differences in the rules, this tournament has become famous in the world and is held every year. These are the ping pong champions from 2011 until today. 2011 Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas: Maxim Shmyrev (Russia) 2013 Alexandra Palace, London: Maxim Shmyrev (Russia) 2014 Alexandra Palace, London: Maxim Shmyrev (Russia) 2015 Alexandra Palace, London: Andrew Baggaley (England) 2016 Alexandra Palace, London: Andrew Baggaley (England) 2017 Alexandra Palace, London: Yan Weihao (China) 2018 Alexandra Palace, London: Wang Shibo (China) 2019 Alexandra Palace, London: Andrew Baggaley (England) 2020 Alexandra Palace, London: Andrew Baggaley (England) The latest title was won by Alexander Flemming from Germany, beating Andrew Baggaley 3-0 in the final. See the latest information about this competition at the site Worldpingpongmasters. 3. The Rules difference between table tennis and ping pong Firstly, the fundamental difference is in the service, namely, in table tennis, you have to throw the ball at least 6 inches up from an open hand with an open fist and without hiding the ball. To hide the ball, we talk about hitting the ball with the racket, and you have to remove the other hand. That’s because the opponent is able to see what the service is like. This rule is not strict in ping pong to throw the ball less, and you can hide the service. Secondly, scoring also makes a big difference because, in table tennis, each set counts to 11. However, if 10:10 is the result, each player has one serve and needs to win by two points. Thus, the result can reach 20:18, for example, until there is a difference of two points for one of the players. In ping pong, the sets are counted up to 15, and with the result of 14:14, the following point who wins, that player wins the set. Thirdly, each player is entitled to one “double-ball” in each match. They can use it at any time, provided they serve. This means that they can use a double point once, which will bring them many advantages over the opponent, making the game even more enjoyable. This thing in table tennis does not exist where each point counts as one. The final was decided by one point: 3:2 in sets and 15:14 in points. Moreover, similarities still exist in large numbers. For example, when you hit the table’s edge, the same points count in table tennis and ping pong. When the let is happening, the rules are the same, with the size of the tables and the number of sets for winning. You can see the basic rules on our Table Tennis Rules page. 4. The Equipment difference between table tennis and ping pong Just look at the difference between these two rackets. It affects the game and the competition itself very, very much. Table Tennis Racket vs. Ping Pong Racket Table Tennis Players can customize the paddles in an extensive selection. There are a lot of blades and rubbers on the market, and everyone has the right to make their racket according to their own needs. So, for example, attackers will use fast table tennis blades with fast rubbers, while defensive ones can stick rubbers on slower rackets and those with more ball control. There are, of course, rules regarding dimensions. Still, there is also a wide selection of table tennis paddles that can be used and accepted by the International Table Tennis Federation ITTF. Ping Pong All players use the same type of paddle, which is 5-ply sandpaper. This is good for the audience in some cases because it slows down the game a lot. That’s why ping pong fans can enjoy following every move because there isn’t that much of an immediate effect in stroking the ball. Otherwise, such rackets do not have rubbers on both sides, which also affects the game. For example, spins cannot have such a rotation as rubbers, and services cannot be as inconvenient as table tennis. Essentially, the ping pong rallies are longer and involve more craft and skill. Regardless of the physical and technical readiness of the players, it is impossible to report shots with so much power due to the nature of the racket. Today, many players are using ping pong robots to improve their skills. 5. Name: Difference or similarity? Firstly, since it used to be two different names for the same sport, we will now discover the differences and doubts about the name. The International Table Tennis Federation ITTF organizes Table Tennis tournaments. Ping Pong tournaments are organized in England at the Alexandra Palace London every year. Secondly, today, many know that these are two different sports but still use the same name. The reason for that is the popularity of the name of this sport in other parts of the world. In Europe, people use the name table tennis mostly, while in America, they use ping pong. World Cup in Table Tennis We have used both names in our articles, and we think that is fine considering the visitors from all over the world. That is why we made an article in which we published all the differences and doubts so that all fans of this sport would be informed about the differences between these two concepts. Besides, it usually sounds fun when someone says “let’s play ping pong” to you. When someone says I’m going to “table tennis” training, it sounds like someone is training seriously. That is the difference at the moment because people conclude by their name how serious something is. I will tell you that both names are serious for sports on this occasion. And it takes a lot of effort and works for everyone to achieve a result. World Championship in Ping Pong It would be best to dedicate much more seriously to table tennis than ping pong to reach a certain level. We hope that the difference we talked about is much clearer now. In Chinese, for example, table tennis is pronounced as “ping pong” or “ping pang Qiu,” which means ping pong ball. It is written in Chinese as “乒乓球.” This sport’s beauty is because it can be played for fun, with friends and family, and played professionally in competitions. Everyone can choose how they want to understand the seriousness of this beautiful sport. Frequently Asked Questions about Table Tennis and Ping Pong 1. What came first? Table tennis is much more popular as a sport and includes all World competitions, while ping pong has only the World Championship competition. But in answer to the question, we will tell you that ping pong was first created years ago. 2. Can table tennis players play ping pong? Of course, they can. There are a lot of players who play in ping pong tournaments and are otherwise professional in table tennis. Here, however, it should be emphasized that due to different rackets, certain players do not want to play ping pong tournaments in order not to spoil the concept and the movements that they have already perfected. This happens because players use different rackets in ping pong than in table tennis, and various movements are performed to switch the ball to what they want. This way, you can later spoil the movement you use when playing table tennis with fast rackets. 3. Is table tennis harder than ping pong? Firstly, table tennis is more complex than ping pong because you have many more variations and possibilities. Secondly, it plays much faster, and you have to practice more on the footwork. Due to the difference in rackets in table tennis, the balls return from the opponent much faster and with more rotation, so you have to practice your reflexes and racket management skills. In conclusion, it is easier for experienced players to win in ping pong, but they also need time to get used to the game’s new rhythm and specific rotations that occur with such rackets.  

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ITTF World Ranking History + New Table Tennis Rankings (June 2022)

This article will discuss the players who spent the most experience in place number one on ITTF World Ranking. Firstly, the ranking list can be divided into the old one, which lasted from January 1987 to December 2000, and the new one, which started in January 2001 and lasted until today. Interestingly, ten players spent at number one in both eras of the ITTF World Ranking list. The New ITTF World Ranking – Men and Women Source: World Table Tennis   After that, we will show you the table with the players who spent the most time in the number one position. So, we will talk about the five best players from the old and new lists of the ITTF points system. OLD SCORING ITTF WORLD RANKING SYSTEM (1987 – 2000) By the end of 1986, the ITTF was generally publishing an annual ranking of players based on results from previous World Cups. Since the founding of the World Cup in 1980, table tennis in Olympic sports in 1988, and the ITTF World Tour in 1996, the rankings have been published several times a year during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Since the mid-1990s, the ITTF rankings have been published every month. There was no clear way to score all the big tournaments in this old system. Longest time Number 1 on ITTF World Ranking for top players from this era: Player Country Number of months on position 1 Kong Linghui China 20 Vladimir Samsonov Belarus 18 Jan – Ove Waldner Sweden 17 Jean – Michel Saive Belgium 8 Liu Guoliang China 6 Jorgen Persson Sweden 5 Juang Jialiang China 4 Wang Tao China 4 Wang Liqin China 2 Jean – Philippe Gatien France 1 1. Kong Linghui   According to the old scoring, the player with the most months spent at the top of the ITTF rankings is Kong Linghui. He is a former member of the Chinese national team, born on October 18, 1975, in Harbin, China. Firstly, he is listed in the ITTF Hall of Fame. Secondly, he is currently the women’s senior national team coach in China. He spent 20 months in the number one position. Moreover, the series of 6 consecutive months is the longest he has achieved as the best in the world. He used the shakehand way of holding the racket. Kong Linghui used strong topspins from both the forehand and backhand sides to an attacking style of playing table tennis. His most vital strength in the game was that he knew all the elements equally well. Kong Linghui is the third player who managed to complete the table tennis “Grand Slam.” He mostly played with equipment from the manufacturer Butterfly. Apart from the fact that his showcases are full of trophies during his playing career, he continued to coach. He won all possible medals with the Chinese women’s national team at the Olympic Games, the World Championship, and the World Cup. In 2007, he stopped actively playing this sport at only 30 and dedicated himself to the coaching profession. Greatest successes in singles: Olympics: 1st place; Sydney 2000; World Championship: 1st place; Tianjin 1995; World Cup: 1st place; Nimes 1995. Kong Linghui is a former Chinese table tennis player. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the sport’s history, and he has won numerous titles, including Olympic gold, world championship gold, and world cup gold. Kong Linghui vs. Vladimir Samsonov  Kong’s career began in the early 1990s, and he quickly rose to prominence, winning his first world title in 1995. He would enjoy great success throughout the rest of his career, cementing his place as one of the all-time greats. In recent years, Kong has been working as a coach, and he will no doubt continue to have a significant impact on the sport for years to come. 2. Vladimir Samsonov He was born on April 17, 1976, in Minsk, Belarus. Samsonov is the best Belarusian table tennis player of all time. His nickname is “Government.” He started playing table tennis at the age of seven. Vladimir Samsonov spent 18 months in the number one position, putting him in second place on the ITTF World Ranking list. So, according to the number of months spent as the Best Table Tennis Player in the world. The longest series he achieved in the number one position was nine months. Firstly, he is also right-handed and uses a shakehand style of holding the racket. Offensive-minded style of play, but not too offensive. Secondly, Samsonov has various styles and likes to play at the table. However, his primary weapon in the game is a block, and he just seems to play against the wall when you play. He is uncomfortable, and with the first opening of the game with big rotations and precise balls, he torments every opponent. He is sponsored by the Tibhar brand and is their trademark. Racket: blade, Tibhar Samsonov Force Pro Black Edition. The forehand and backhand rubbers use the Tibhar Evolution MXP.  Club: Fakel Gazprom Orenburd from Russia. Above all, Samsonov is the winner of 27 Pro Tour tournaments which puts him in second place behind Ma Long. He competed in the previous 6 Olympic Games, from 1996 to 2016. Although 45 years old, he ranks 28th on the ITTF world ranking. Greatest successes in singles: World Cup: 1st place; Sjaolan 1999, Kurmajor 2001, and Moscow 2009 Vladimir Samsonov is a Belarusian table tennis player who has had a long and successful career. He has won the World Cup three times, in 1999, 2001, and 2009, and he has also won 27 Pro Tour tournaments. Samsonov has competed in the Olympic Games six times, from 1996 to 2016, and he is currently ranked 28th in the world by the International Table Tennis Federation. Despite his age, Samsonov is still an excellent table tennis player, and he continues to be ranked highly on the world stage. 3. Jan – Ove Waldner Born on October 3, 1965, a former Swedish table tennis player in Stockholm, Sweden. So, his nicknames are “Evergreen Three” and “Mozart Of Table Tennis.” Listed in the ITTF Hall of Fame. He is third in the number spent at place number one at 17 months. The series of 10 consecutive months is the longest, which he achieved as the best in the world. Also, the way the racket is held, the shakehand style. It’s the highest quality service, one of the best. Apart from the service, an essential part of the game was his block, with which he could drive the opponent crazy. His sense of the game and the perfect prediction of points are his best skills. He played for clubs: Spårvägens Golf, ATSV Saarbrücken, Ängby SK, Kalmar BTK, TTC Röhn-Sprudel Fulda Maberzell, Spårvägens BTK. As for the racket, it uses the DONIC brand. Table Tennis Blade Waldner Senzo Carbon; Rubbers, Coppa JO Gold on the forehand side, and Coppa JO Platinum on the backhand side. He is the first of the five listed to win the “Grand Slam.” Waldner managed to do that in 1992 in Barcelona. In the same year, he was named Swedish Athlete of the Year. Most importantly, He is the only non-Chinese player to have completed these three tournaments. Greatest successes in singles: Olympics: 1st place; Barcelona 1992. World Championship: 1st place; Dortmund 1989 and Manchester 1997. World Cup: 1st place; Chiba 1990. That is why Waldner is not only considered one of the best players in the world who have played this game, but he is also the best European player of all time. At the end of 2007, he ended his national team career, and on February 11, 2016, he officially announced that he had finished his playing career. The King of Service  Waldner has won many prestigious competitions, including the Olympics, World Championship, and World Cup. He is also considered the best European player of all time. Waldner’s success can be attributed to his unique playing style, which combines power and finesse. He is also known for his mental toughness and ability to come back from behind in a match. Waldner’s achievements have made him a Swedish national hero and an inspiration to table tennis players worldwide. 4. Jean – Michel Saive Jean-Michel Saive was born on November 17, 1969, in Liege, Belgium. He is the best player who has ever played in Belgium. His nickname is “Big Saive.” Saive spent eight months in the number one ITTF World Ranking list position. He used the products of the company STIGA, which was his sponsor. So, his blade is: Stiga Clipper CR WRB and rubbers on the forehand and backhand sides were used by the STIGA Calibra LT. A right-handed player who used the shakehand style of holding the racket. He was known for his excellent movement, great backhand block, and fantastic forehand. His game was based on half-distance and distances from the table, where he played long and beautiful points. He joined the Belgian national team in 1983 when he was less than 14 years old. Firstly, Jean Michel Saive performed at the 7 Olympic Games, ranking him among the most performances with Jorgen Persson and Zoran Primorac. Above all, he had the honor of carrying the Belgian flag at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 and Athens in 2004. Greatest successes in singles: European championship: 1st place; Birmingham 1994. Jean Michel Saive played for the Belgian La Villette Charleroi for many years, with whom he has 6 ETTU Champions League titles. He won the 1994 European Championship in Birmingham. Similarly, at the World Championship and the World Cup, he “only” reached second place in Gothenburg in 1993 and Taipei in 1994.  Saive said goodbye to the national team in December 2015, and in 2019 he said goodbye to playing table tennis at the age of 49. He is currently the President of the Belgian Table Tennis Federation. 5. Liu Guoliang Liu Guoliang is a former Chinese national team player, born on January 10, 1976, in Xinjiang, China. His nickname is “Legend Liu.” Listed in the ITTF Hall of Fame. Liu is fifth in the first place on the ITTF ranking list. Firstly, the way the racket is held, the penholder style. Secondly, he had a very offensive style of play based near the table. In addition to the fantastic movement, his strongest weapons were service (which, along with Waldner’s best ever in the world), strong forehand kick, and backhand block. He liked to use STIGA and TSP equipment the most. Racket: He played with the STIGA Clipper blade. He used TSP Spinpips rubber on the forehand side, which had short fringes, making it very awkward. On the backhand side, he used a Yasaka Mark V rubber. After the World Championship in Eindhoven, he won first place. He became the second player to complete the “Grand Slam.” In 2003, he finished his playing career at only 27 and dedicated himself to a coaching career. Greatest successes in singles: Olympics: 1st place; Atlanta 1996; World Championship: 1st place; Eindhoven 1999; World Cup: 1st place; Nimes 1996. Apart from considering him one of the best players of all time, the same goes for his coaching career. Leading the Chinese men’s national team as a national team selector, he has won the Olympic Games, the World Championship, and the World Cup. Also, he won the Asian Championships in singles, doubles, and team competitions several times. In 2018, he became the president of the Chinese Table Tennis Association.   NEW SCORING ITTF WORLD RANKING SYSTEM (2001 – 2021) After the scoring is determined, a new era of table tennis scoring in singles begins. During this period, it has been determined how many points the Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, and the ITTF Pro Tour tournaments carry each player. Firstly, the ITTF World Ranking list is published every month. Moreover, the players who make up this list are, for the most part, Chinese players, and there are 7 of them (Ma Long, Wang Liqin, Fan Zhendong, Wang Hao, Xu Xin, Ma Lin, and Zhang Jike). Also,  two of them are Germans (Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov) and one Austrian (Werner Schager).  Longest time Number 1 on ITTF World Ranking for top players from the new era: Player Country Number of months on position 1 Ma Long China 64 Wang Liqin China 52 Fan Zhendong China 26 Wang Hao China 24 Xu Xin China 23 Ma Lin China 17 Timo Boll Germany 11 Zhang Jike China 7 Dimitrij Ovtcharov Germany 2 Werner Schlager Austria 1 1. Ma Long (ITTF World Ranking No. 2)   Ma Long is a Chinese player born on October 20, 1988, in Anshan, China. His nicknames are “The Dragon,” “Captain Long,” and “The Dictator.” Listed in the ITTF Hall of Fame. Ma Long is the player who spent the longest time in position number one, as many as 64 months. Firstly, from March 2015 to December 2017, he held the number one position (33 months in a row). Secondly, at the age of 15, he played in the Chinese Super League for the first time. Thirdly, he uses the shakehand way of holding the racket. Moreover, he is best known for his devastating forehand and fantastic movement. Although many players told him opening the game after his serve was the strongest weapon, behind Ma Long is DHS equipment. Racket: Hurricane Long 5 blade. Rubbers: Hurricane 3 National at forehand and backhand sides. He is currently defending the colors of Shandong Weiqiao. Many people even consider him the best player of all time. Similarly, Ma Long is the only player to have won 3 consecutive World Singles Championships (2015, 2017, and 2019). He is the last winner of the famous “Grand Slam.” So, he managed to achieve after Rio 2016. Ma Long is the record-holder in that he has won 35 sets in a row and has 28 titles on ITTF Pro tours. So, he is the captain of the Chinese national team. He won all ITTF tournaments in singles. Above all, Ma Long is currently third on the ITTF rankings. Greatest successes in singles: Olympics: 1st place; Rio 2016; World Championship: 1st place; Suju 2015, Dusseldorf 2017, and Budapest 2019; World Cup: 1st place; Liverpool 2012, Halmstad 2015; A natural athlete, Ma Long first picked up a ping-pong paddle at the age of four and quickly developed into a world-class player. Ma Long has won an astonishing 35 sets in a row and 28 titles on ITTF Pro tours. He is also the record-holder for most consecutive wins at the World Championships, having taken first place in 2015, 2017, and 2019. In addition to his unbeatable skills on the ping-pong table, Ma Long is also known for his unshakeable mental focus and calm demeanor. 2. Wang Liqin Wang Liqin is a former table tennis player, born on June 18, 1978, in Shanghai, China. Currently, he is the coach of the Shanghai team, which competes in the Chinese Super League. He was inducted into the ITTF Hall of Fame. Wang Liqin is the first player to be first in the world rankings. He spent 52 months as number 1 (if you look at the old scoring system, then he spent a total of 54). That remarkable success puts him in 2nd place in the history of table tennis after months spent as the world’s best player, behind Ma Long. Firstly, he started playing table tennis when he was only five years old. The former Chinese national team player is known for being included in the Chinese national team at only fifteen, more precisely in 1993. Secondly, he uses the shakehand way of holding the racket. His style of play is recognizable by his excellent movement and especially by his destructive forehand. Above all, he had one of the strongest forehands in the history of table tennis. So, he constantly combined and changed table tennis rubbers and blades from various table tennis companies throughout his career. For example, he used blades Butterfly Timo boll spirit, Stiga Clipper CR, Rosewood V, DHS Hurricane King II, III. Wang Liqin also used DHS Hurricane II, III, and TG III on the forehand rubbers and Nittaku Hammond on the backhand. Also, rubbers from the Tenergy series, etc. During his career, he played for Shanghai Shengxurong. Greatest successes in singles: World Cup: 1st place; Osaka 2001, Shanghai 2005 and Zagreb 2007; He won three World Singles Championships. So, he also almost completed the “Grand Slam.” An insurmountable obstacle was the Olympic Games and the World Cup in singles. For example, in 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Beijing, he managed to reach the semifinals, more precisely to achieve third place. After that, he took 2nd place at the 2001 World Cup. Wang Liqin is saying goodbye to the national team at the end of 2013. 3. Fan Zhendong (ITTF World Ranking No. 1) The table tennis player is third in the number spent in the first place on the ITTF World Ranking list. Fan Zhendong was born on January 22, 1997, in Gwangju, China. The nickname he got is “Little Fatty.” At the age of 24, he is currently the leader of the younger generation. He spent 26 months at number one on the ITTF Rankings, which puts him in third place overall in terms of time spent as the world’s best player. Firstly, he uses the shakehand style of holding the racket. A right-handed player who is highly offensive, an all-around player of perfect technique with fantastic movement, and the game’s opening with a significant rotation. Secondly, after the game’s opening, he tries to destroy every opponent with strong and precise blows. Moreover, he likes to play at the table and half distance. STIGA has sponsored fan Zhendong for many years. Racket: blade, STIGA Infiniti VPS V. Rubbers, DHS Hurricane 3 National on the forehand and Butterly Dignics 05 on the backhand. He currently plays for Sichuan Changhong Table Tennis Club. On April 1, 2018, he became number one at only 21, overtaking Timo Boll from the leading position. At the age of 19, he won the 2016 World Cup and became the youngest winner of that competition. Fan Zhendong is expected to be the next winner of the table tennis “Grand Slam.” Greatest successes in singles: World Cup: 1st place; Dusseldorf 2016, Paris 2018, and Chengdu 2019. World Championship: 1st place; Houston 2021, 3rd place, Dusseldorf 2017. Its most prolonged period in the first place is 15 months. Currently, in June 2021, he is first on the ITTF World Ranking list. In May of this year, Fan participated in the Chinese Olympic Scrimmages. He won all his group matched 3:0 and defeated 16-year-old break-out star Lin Shidong, who defeated Xu Xin in the group stage, 4:2 in the quarter-finals. Because of Lin’s similarity to Fan, he received the nickname “Little Little Fatty” by Chinese netizens. Fan won Wang Chuqin in the semi-finals but lost Ma Long in the finals by 3:4. Despite this loss, he remains confident in his skills and is looking forward to continued success in future competitions. Fan Zhendong has won numerous titles, including four World Championships and six World Cup singles titles. In May 2019, he was crowned men’s singles champion at the World Table Tennis Championships for a record-tying fourth time.  In addition to his successes, Fan has also been part of several victorious Chinese teams at the World Team Table Tennis Championships and the Asian Games. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest table tennis players of all time. 4. Wang Hao Wang Hao was born on December 15, 1983, in Changchun, China. The former member of the Chinese national team is the head coach of the Bayi team, which competes in the Chinese Superliga. He is currently one of the assistants of this selection. Listed in the ITTF Hall of Fame. Wang Hao is the fourth player to spend the longest time at number one on the ITTF Rankings, with 24 months. He used the penholder style of holding the racket. In 1998, he joined the Chinese senior national team. Since his appearance at major world tournaments, the world public has been intrigued that he shares both sides of the racket during attacks and defense against opponents. So, this was not typical for the Penholders (previously, they only played with the forehand side). During that period, his backhand was considered the best of all the penholders who had played table tennis. He liked to use DHS equipment the most. Racket: DHS Wang Hao Blade N656 blade, and DHS Skyline III Blue Sponge rubbers on the forehand and Butterfly Sriver Topsheet on the backhand side. Although he is considered one of the best players in the 21st century, he still failed to complete the “Grand Slam.” His insurmountable obstacle was the Olympics. He won second place in singles in all three tournaments he participated in. For example, better than he was Ryu Seung Min in Athens in 2004, Ma Lin in 2008 in Beijing, and Zhang Jike in London in 2012. So, he is saying goodbye to the Chinese selection at the end of 2014. Greatest successes in singles: World Championship: 1st place; Yokohama 2009; World Cup: 1st place; Barcelona 2007, Liege 2008 and Magdeburg 2010. 5. Xu Xin (ITTF World Ranking No. 8) The fifth player in the number of months spent in the first place is Xu Xin. He was born on January 8, 1990, in Suzhou, China. His nicknames are “Cloud Walker” and “Xuperman.” Listed in the ITTF Hall of Fame. He spent 23 months in the number one position on the ITTF Rankings. He has 17 ITTF World Tour titles. A left-handed player who uses the penholder style of holding the racket. For example, he is recognizable for his forehand (one of the best forehands in the history of table tennis). Also, he uses the excellent backhand side of the racket during blocks and spins for his fantastic movement. For instance, Xu Xin has a long arm span to cover most of the table with a forehand. He likes the game at half distance and distance where he can easily reach his deadly forehand spin. He is sponsored by the Swedish table tennis company STIGA. Racket: blade, STIGA Dynasty Carbon Xu Xin Edition. Rubbers: DHS Hurricane TG2 Skyline Blue on the forehand and DHS NEO Hurricane 3 on the backhand. Greatest successes in singles: World Cup: 1st place; Verviers (Belgium) 2013. Firstly, he became number one for the first time in January 2013, removing Ma Long from the ruling position. Secondly, Xu Xin is the true successor of Ma Lin and Wang Hao. The last one was from penholders who were number one. Moreover, he plays for the table tennis club Shanghai Real Estate Group. Above all, the most extended series in position number one was from March 2014 to February 2015, more precisely 12 months. He is currently second on the ITTF World Ranking list. ITTF World Ranking – Teams The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Ranking is a system for ranking the performance of men’s and women’s national table tennis teams. The ranking is based on results achieved at ITTF-sanctioned events over four years, with teams awarded points for each event. At the end of the four years, the team with the most points is ranked first, while the team with the minor points is ranked last. Currently, China is ranked first globally, followed by Germany, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Brazil, Sweden, India, France, and Austria are the top ten. In recent years, the Chinese team has been dominant, winning four of the last five World Championships. However, they will face stiff competition from the other top teams at this year’s World Championships in Budapest. With so much talent on display, it promises to be an exciting tournament. ITTF World Ranking – Juniors As table tennis continues to grow in popularity, so does the competition among junior players. The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) maintains a world ranking for junior players, with the top spot currently occupied by Alexis Lebrun of France. Lebrun has accumulated a total of 8150 points, followed closely by Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto with 6225 points. Belgium’s Adrien Rassenfosse rounds out the top three with 5495 points. Source: World Table Tennis The remaining top ten include India, Romania, Poland, and France players. With such close competition at the top, it will be an exciting year for junior table tennis players worldwide. ITTF World Rankings for Olympic Games The last Olympic games were in Tokyo 2020, and the top players who qualified achieved the most points for qualification. From Europe, the best ranking had Mattias Falck, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, and Timo Boll. Dimitrij Ovtcharov achieved 8 Wins /13 Losses / 1 Draw with 61.54 a Game Percentage of 61.54%. Timo Boll achieved 3 Wins / 5 Losses / 2 Draws with a Game Percentage of 60%. From Asian players, the best ITTF World Ranking had Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin, and Ma Long. From South America, in the top 10 players was Hugo Calderano from Brazil. European Championships History The European Table Tennis Championships is an annual event that has been held since 1958. It features seven events: men’s singles, doubles and team, women’s singles, doubles and team, and mixed doubles. From 2009 until 2013, the mixed doubles tournament was organized separately from the other events. In 2015, the ETTU announced that from 2016 the European Championships would feature only individual events. This change was made in order to bring the event in line with the other major table tennis tournaments around the world. The Championships are always hotly contested, with some of the best players in Europe battling it out for the title of European Champion. Europe Top 16 Cup   ITTF World Ranking – Conclusion The ITTF World Ranking Table Tennis system is a complex and ever-changing beast. Hopefully, the information you found was valuable and exciting. If you’re interested in learning more about any of the players or rankings mentioned in this article, we suggest heading to the ITTF website for additional information. For European Championships information, here is the ETTU website. Here is the World Table Tennis website for World Tour news and live watching table tennis. Be sure to check back often, as we regularly update our rankings. In the meantime, let us know who your favorite table tennis player is and why in the comments below.  

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How to assemble a table tennis racket?

Step by step on how to assemble a table tennis racket. You have chosen your blade and rubbers, and now it’s time to glue and prepare the racket for the game. See below how easy it is in a few steps. In this video, you can see live how I assembled a friend’s table tennis racket. Otherwise, I assembled many rackets during my career of 25 years of playing table tennis. Step 1: Blade Cleaning Cleaning the blade is an essential step because it makes the rubber stick better. So, there are no spots that you will see later on the racket. If you have a new blade, also clean it a little with sandpaper and later with a sponge because that way, its surface will be smooth, and the rubbers will stick nicely. With a used blade or with those where you already had other rubbers and have now changed them, it is additionally essential to clean the blade because a certain amount of glue remained on it during the last gluing. I know it’s a tedious step but trust me, very important in assembling your racket. Since rubbers are not cheap, you would not want to skip cleaning. After a couple of days, it could get bumps on the racket or some dots that will bother you while you play. Step 2: Apply And Spread The Glue Here it is important to evenly distribute the glue on the surface of the rubbers and blade. When assembling a table tennis racket, glue and its correct distribution on the surface is the most important step. Free Chack Pro with 8 sponges Use the sponge that comes with the glue, and you can very easily apply a thin layer of glue by following the white color so that it is even everywhere. Here you have to pay attention to gluing speed, as shown in the video. Moreover, the glue does not dry out during assembling. I recommend Butterfly glues to everyone because I use them myself, and they provide the same effect even after a long time when you again assemble a table tennis racket. Once you have done that, wait about half an hour for the glue to dry. You will see it slowly lose its white color on the rubbers. Then you know that it’s ready for assembly. Step 3: Attach The Rubbers Here it is essential to pay attention to the bottom of the rubber surface, for new rubbers push them entirely from the beginning of the blade. If they are used as in the video, look at how many millimeters are missing. This way, you can precisely apply the rubber to the end of the blade top. However, leave as much space at the beginning. If it happens to be bigger rubber, you will easily cut it at the end when you glue it. When you start gluing the rubber, be sure to squeeze it as far forward as possible so that there is no room for air during assembling. That air that remains can damage your rubber and have an effect every time you play. That is why it is essential that you smoothly glue the rubber, and there is no space in the middle. Finally, you can squeeze the racket with your fingers to make sure it is well assembled. Repeat the same for the other rubber with one note in mind. If you put new rubbers in the shape of a square when you get them, you should first cut one and then put the other. Step 4: Cut And Clean The Rubber When you put the rubbers on your blade, you need to cut them nicely around and to the edge to make the racket look nice and comply with the ITTF rules. That means the rubber won’t be more significant than the blade. You will quickly achieve it with either scissors or a sharp scalpel. If you use scissors, hold the racket firmly in one hand and lightly cut the rubber the whole circle while gently turning the racket. Butterfly foam cleaner You need to lean the racket at a certain surface with a sharp scalpel. After that, make the whole circle around the racket until the rubber is nicely cut in the shape of a blade. When it comes to new rubbers, you have to glue them one by one and then cut them. On the other hand, with used ones, as shown in the video, you can glue both and then just cut the parts that are bigger than the racket. In the end, all you have to do is clean the table tennis rubbers and stick side tape if you want to protect the racket additionally. For cleaning, use a rubber cleaner to put a little foam on the rubber and then run a smooth sponge over it several times. The foam itself will dry in a few minutes, and the racket will be ready. Step 5: Wait 24 hours for full effect Table tennis players glued the racket before each training session or match with earlier fast glues. If you are playing with table tennis robots, the rubbers will consume faster, and you need to glue the racket more often. The full gluing effect was then immediately after placing the rubbers. However, with modern table tennis glues, which are the only ones now recognized by the ITTF, it takes 24 hours to feel the full effect of the ball bouncing. You can try the racket right after the gluing is over, but the next day and the next few months, you will feel the real bounce of the ball and the full potential of the blade and rubbers you bought. What to consider when gluing? If the glue is as good as the one we mentioned, the bottle will last you long. So, you will be able to assemble a table tennis racket again after a few months with the same glue. Permanently close the glue bottle well after use so that it does not dry out. If you accidentally pour more glue than necessary, pour that amount on the next rubber. This happened to me with the first one in the video. The glue cannot damage the skin or the surface you are sticking to. It is very easy to remove by washing your hands or cleaning the surface where you glued it with an ordinary cloth. These modern table tennis glues are made from liquid natural caoutchouc and contain organic solvents.  

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