Foreigners benefit from nation's table tennis expertise

By Lin Shujuan in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-24 07:42
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Layan Neumann (right), a player from Mexico, Wang Tianrui (center), a player from Nantong, Jiangsu province, and a fellow student listen to instructions from Zhang. GAO ERQIANG/CHINA DAILY

However, Neumann said he has nothing to complain about.

"I've learned more from the young kids than from older, experienced players. It's really helpful to see how the coach teaches these kids and helps them practice new skills," he said.

"It is no exaggeration to say that three minutes' advice from a coach on a certain skill can save me two years of practice time," he said.

The college training camp is also open to international students such as Kristof Taubert, who is studying for a master's in sport, business and law at the University of Bayreuth in Germany.

Taubert is also undertaking a six-month exchange program at Shanghai University. He was introduced to the training program at the CTTC by his coach on a basic table tennis course at Shanghai University.

Training with the young CTTC players twice a week, Taubert said: "The training is very professional. We train longer and harder in Shanghai than back in Germany, which is very motivating for me."

Talent cultivation

Shi, citing a quote from the sport's legendary player Liu Guoliang after Liu's appointment as World Table Tennis Council chair in 2020, said, "Chinese table tennis is shared with the world." Shi, a former head coach of the Chinese women's national team, has been dean of the CTTC since 2012.

When the college was established, its main aim was to cultivate talent for competitive table tennis and promote Chinese table tennis overseas, Shi said.

"Chinese table tennis has a good tradition of facilitating international exchanges. For example, Ping-Pong Diplomacy contributed to the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States in 1972. We consider it a responsibility to carry forward this fine tradition of ours," Shi added.

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