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LIVERPOOL - China, who clean swept all four table tennis gold medals at the London Olympic Games, is to set up a table tennis training center in Europe, most likely England, to help the development of the sport.
"We have talked about this idea early this year with the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA). Hopefully they will make it in England," said Liu Jiayi, England's national coach.
Liu, formerly the coach of Chinese and English national player Chen Xinhua, said he and Richard Yule, the Chief Executive of English Table Tennis Association, went to China for the talks.
"The idea was raised by both CTTA and the Table Tennis College of Shanghai Sports University. They will provide financial and coaching aid for the training center and help improve the level of this sport," said Liu, who has been coaching the English national team for some 20 years.
Yule was excited with the idea and said he hopes the training center should be in England and the best place is Sheffield, where the training center of English national team is located.
"We have discussions with China not only about the training center, but also the idea of bringing out more Chinese players to England and sending English players to China," Yu said.
Yu said that setting up a training center in Sheffield is also to benefit Chinese players and make table tennis a bigger sport in the world.
"China has many great players but they should learn to communicate more with western media," Yule said. "Then they will be more attractive to the western world and promote the sport."
"To play in Sheffield with the English players will help them improve their English," he said.