The 2019 World Table Tennis Championships will take place at the end of April this year in Hungary. Currently, the Chinese Table Tennis National Team is in a 1-month closed-training in Shenzhen. Like the previous closed-training sessions, they all posted photos of the most dangerous opponents in their stadiums.
So who is the most important rival (list of athletes) for China? These lists are based on the winning history and their current ranking.
Main opponents of the Chinese men’s team
The main opponent of the Chinese men’s team is divided into 3 groups:
- Groupe 1: The most dangerous rival: 4 athletes: Mizutani Jun, Harimoto Tomokazu, Timo Boll and Ovtcharov;
- Group 2 has 10 athletes: Dangerous but winnable: Koki Niwa, Lee Sang Su, Hugo, Chuang Chih Yuan, Samsonov, Liam Pitchford, Wong Chun Ting, etc
- Group 3: Tough rival: Mattias Falck, Patrick Franziska, Lim Jong-hoon, Marcos Freitas, Chen Chien-An, Lebesson Emmanuel, etc
Main opponents of the Chinese women’s team
On the women’s side, they listed 14 competitors, of which Japan has 4 athletes.
At tier 2, and tier 3, there are also athletes like Feng Tian Wei, Cheng I Ching, Doo Hoi Kem, Jeon Jihee, etc.
Double Grand Slam for Ma Long or Zhang Jike?
Besides, the fact that Ma Long has rested for more than half a year has now come back. He will also participate in large competitions such as Qatar Open (26 ~ 31/3), Asian Cup (5 ~ April) and then, World Championships (21 ~ 28/4). Participating in continuous competitions of big tournaments is also a test for the health and fitness of Ma Long who is now 31 years old. If Ma Long overcame the upcoming challenges, it will deserve to participate in the 2020 Olympics!
In addition, Ma Long’s personal coach, Qin Zhijian, has also returned to the team. He is currently the male head coach and is always watching his beloved player. It can be said, 2016 is the peak period of Ma Long.
Although Ma’s current stamina is no longer the same, the older the spicy ginger becomes. Should we expect that Ma Long will complete the 2nd Grand Slam dream that Zhang Jike can’t complete before?