Why Ma Long quit Men’s World Cup 2018

Why Ma Long quit Men’s World Cup 2018

Today, I want to present a very bad news. Ma Long has withdrawn from the Men’s World Cup Table Tennis, which will be organized in Paris this October.

It’s very rare in table tennis history, that a player quit a long time planned tournament.

Liebherr 2018 ITTF Men’s World Cup

The Men’s World Cup Table Tennis will be organized at Disneyland Paris  (77777 Marne-la-Vallée, France). The event occurs from 19th to 21st October 2018.

Table Tennis World Cup 2018
Table Tennis World Cup 2018

Coupe du monde de tennis de table 2018

The 2018 LIEBHERR Men’s World Cup take place in France, in one of the most sightseeing place in Europe : Disneyland® Paris. From 19th to 21th october 2018, 20 of the best players in the world will face in the fairy scenery of the Disney® Events Arena for a 3 days show.

Host Association:

Fédération Française de Tennis de Table
3 rue Dieudonné Costes
75013 PARIS
FRANCE
Tel: +33 1 53945000
E-mail: fftt@fftt.email

Playing Venue:

DEA (Disney Event Arena)
Avenue Paul SERAMY
77000 CHESSY
FRANCE

Prize Money

Total prize: US$ 250,000

  • Winner US$ 60,000
  • Runner-up US$ 40,000
  • 3rd place US$ 20,000
  • 4th place US$ 14,000
  • Places 5 to 8 US$ 10,000
  • Places 9 to 16 US$ 7,000
  • Position 17 to 20 US$ 5,000

World Cup is one of the most prestigious tournaments in table tennis. By not playing this tournament, the world ranking of Ma Long on the “unfair” ITTF World Ranking will even drop more. And this will affect the desire of the Olympics Tokyo 2020 of Ma Long.

Ma Long withdraws Table Tennis World Cup 2018

ITTF has announced the confirmed players for the World Cup, and there is no Ma Long.

Confirmed list for World Cup 2018
Confirmed list for World Cup 2018

Instead, Lin Gaoyuan will replace Ma Long. Some players asked why Lin Gaoyuan, his performance is not very stable. Well, because he is the 2nd position in the Asian Cup.

China always wins the World Cup from 2010 to 2016. However, last year, there was a big upset, that Timo Boll has beaten all of the top Chinese players in the Quarter, and Semi-Final.

Ma Long explained on his Sina Weibo,

“I am getting thirty years old and I need to choose to attend some tournaments but not all. Don’t worry. See you at #ITTFWorldTour Austrian Open and Grand Finals. Table tennis events at Asian Games will start soon. Go, China!”

Ma Long's explication for his absence in the World Cup 2018
Ma Long’s explication for his absence in the World Cup 2018

But the real reason behind is not his age. Many coaches and players in China know the reason behind this.

So what is the reason?

Due to his performance?

Some players say that it due to Ma Long’s performance. At the present, Ma Long is not in a good shape. He lost to Harimoto at the Quater Final in Japan Open this June 2018. Ma Long lost to Liam in the Bulgarian Open at the first round.

Ma Long lost to Liam Pitchford at the first round of Bulgarian Open 2018
Ma Long lost to Liam Pitchford at the first round of Bulgarian Open 2018

However, now we are in August. There are still 2 months ahead. The world cup happens in October. And 2 month is a lot for Ma Long to recover.

Ma Long lost to Harimoto Tomokazu in Japan Open 2018
Ma Long lost to Harimoto Tomokazu in Japan Open 2018

Due to his family?

Or he just wants to sacrifice for his family?

Ma Long's family: his wife and his little kid
Ma Long’s family: his wife and his little kid

The prize Men’s World Cup 2018 is $ 60,000, the champion will be added in 2550, the runner will get 2295 points, more than 4 times the ITTF World Tour Platinum (500 points for the winner). It’s very important if Ma Long wants to get the point to participate in the Olympics Tokyo 2020.

The possible reason behind?

So the real reason is “the unfair World Ranking system”. The current world ranking is not accurate, and it makes the player feel unfair. Why?
I have explained it in the previous video. But here, again, I want to explain:

There are 2 bad things about the new system.

Mass game or Perish

First, the new system obliges the player to participate in at least 8 ITTF tournaments. who do not participate in the 8 ITTFs will affect the ITTF rankings. Especially the athletes who are the real top player but older and will not be physically fit to participate in all of the events.

The current world ranking system forces player to play more
The current world ranking system forces player to play more

Un-fair system

Second. The new scoring method makes cumulative point large, which makes chasing the score extremely difficult. Moreover, the new system is very unfair: You won’t lose the point if you lose, only winning count. So the higher rank player just abuses, and participate as many tournaments as possible, and don’t worry when loosing to the lower rank player.

So that’s why the current ranking system is unfair. That they take the quantity over the quality of the match. The true top players now have a very low World Ranking. While the average players increase their ranking.

Speaking outrage, the best players, the World Grandslam are dropped out of the top 10 World Ranking ITTFs in early 2018. Meanwhile, when you win some Platinum ITTF World Tour, and you can reach the top ranking.

The real top players are dropped out of the top 10 ITTF Table Tennis World Ranking
The real top players are dropped out of the top 10 ITTF Table Tennis World Ranking

This unfair system makes that the huge event, the most prestigious event, not as important as before anymore. You can only find the “big name”, the best players in the most important event. But now, the “big name”doesn’t bother to participate. Because they feel “unfair” to this system.

So again, nowadays, the Quality is dead. But it’s the Quantity who counts.

What do you prefer? Quantity or Quality of a match?
What do you prefer? Quantity or Quality of a match?

But you know, as a table tennis player, and a table tennis coach, someday, you will feel “tired” about this.

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