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Womens team final drew more attention (2010 Moscow World Team Table Tennis Championships)

Thursday 03 June

May 30, 2010 World Championships women's team final in Moscow

Team China 1:3 loss to Team Singapore, missed the title the first time in 19 years. After the game, many Chinese fans were wondering: it was so surprising that the women’s team lost, and they lost so badly.

It was a sharp contrast to note a sudden thwart in the women’s final after the team ‘s previous easy advance in the group matches. On the evening of 30th, the Chinese Women’s team coach Qiao Xiao Wei told reporters: "During the closed training period, I had great concerns. Now, the hidden crisis in the Chinese Women’s team was finally exposed."

Suspicious formations

On the evening of the final, except that the performance of veteran player Guo Yan was normal, Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen's play greatly disappointed the fans.  Why did the coaches reserve  Olympic champion Guo Yue?

Before the final, Kong Linghui, the Chinese women’s team coach made an explanation for the final lineup.He said that Guo Yue and Li Xiaoxia would not play the final for the reason that they had lost in the team competition against the Singapore players before; from the view of previous record, Ding Ning and Li Shiwen remain undefeated to Singapore's Feng Tianwei and Wang Yuegu. However, their performance failed to meet our expectations in yesterday's final.

In this regard, Qiao said: "It was the first time for Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen to attend the World Championships team event final;  in fact, Guo Yan and Li Xiaoxia were also new, although they had participated in both World Championships team competition, they had not played key matches in the event either. As to Guo Yue, not only was she injured at the time of this event, but also she lost twice in the previous world championships final. "

However, no one have thought the results would be disastrous. "In fact, the technique level of our players is higher than that of rivals, but they did not play well, mainly due to the weak ideological and psychological factors."  Qiao said.

Signs of the crisis before departure

Before departure to Moscow, when the coaches tried to determine the lineup, Qiao had a serious concern. "We realized that for the five players chosen to play the World Table Tennis Championships, psychological quality would play a vital role in the results." Qiao said.

In the closed training period, China Women’s team had gone through a variety of special training. "First, the team brought in a psychiatrist, as counselor ; second, holding a variety of simulation matches, including simulating warm-up matches to Singapore, the key point handling, catching-up handling and so on. Nevertheless, the simulation games were far from the actual combat in all aspects. "Qiao said.

Although Singapore's technique strength may not be higher than team china, but compare with their experienced players, Liu Shiwen and Ding Ning looks a little immature. "Feng Tianwei and Wang Yuegu participated in the Beijing Olympic Games finals, whereas Liu Shiwen and Ding Ning did not handle well the tension, being too anxious, always pursuing a quick end on each point." Qiao said.

Owing to retirement of Wang Nan and absence of Zhang Yining, it lacks a team leader that can boost the morale of the team. "In the key moment, no one possess the calmness in mind, negatively affected the techniques and tactics." Qiao said.

 Urgency - team leader needed

Qiao said that losing the Championships is not necessarily a bad thing, it rings the alarm to the team. "The main goal now is the London Olympics, losing earlier so the problem exposed earlier, it is better than to lose later."

In addition, she said that the team had made preparation in losing the champion. She said: "This is the price we pay for growth, especially for young players, they have to go through this step. No failure, no success."

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