Ping Pong In China

Ping pong in China is taken very seriously as it is the national sport that many Chinese people adore


Vinqui, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Chinese ping pong is taken very seriously by the national team.

Ping pong, also known as table tennis, is China’s national sport.  The Chinese equivalent of America’s football and basketball, or Canada’s hockey, it is not only a favorite pastime for its citizens, it is the sport that they always dominate globally.

This can be seen with the success that the Chinese see in the Olympics including singles, doubles, and mixed competitions. Since ping pong has been considered an Olympic event, the Chinese have been by far the most successful country as people can see from the medal statistics. They have won 53 medals in which they have earned 32 gold, 20 silver, and 8 bronze. The closest country to China is Chinese Taipei and they only have a total of 13 medals. This is because China will commonly “full sweep” the podium in which they will snag the first, second, and third place on the podium.

Two Chinese players won gold and silver at the 2018 junior Olympics (Marcus Cyron )

There are many athletes who have contributed to the dynasty that is Chinese ping pong. One of them is named Ma Long. America has well known athletes such as Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Quandale Dingle, and Jeff O’Doul, but China’s most well known athlete is Ma Long. He is widely renowned as the greatest athlete of all time in Chinese terms and the results of his competition speaks for itself. From 2010 to 2012 Ma Long hit an unbelievable winning streak where he won 51 consecutive table tennis matches on the International stage over the course of 560 days. This helped him transition into his first ever Olympic games during 2012 where he would begin his dominant rain of Olympic table tennis. Ma Long has been in the Olympics up until 2020 and during this time he has won five gold medals. Keep in mind, he has competed in 5 competitions, so during his time in the Olympics he has never lost which shows just how dominant he is. Another up and coming table tennis superstar is named Xu Xin.

Ma Long playing who is often regarded as the greatest ping pong player of all time (Xiaoyu Tang)

While Ma Long has very solid fundamentals and basic skill; Xu Xin is a lot more flashier as is one of the most entertaining people too watch while playing ping pong. He is a younger player, so he doesn’t have the same types of accolades under his belt when compared to Ma Long, but I believe he has the potential to be one of the top players as his game evolves.

As seen in this YouTube video, Chinese players have to go through is very intense and it normally starts very early due to ping pong being such a common recreational sport within the country. The kids who are destined for greatness will normally start playing as soon as they can hold a ping pong paddle such as Ma Long who started playing ping pong at the age of 5. Their training is very intense as ping pong requires very good cardiovascular endurance due to the length of the matches played and consistent quick movements. It also requires the players to have pristine ball placement and touch as there are many methods of putting spin onto the ball which makes it difficult to return the balls.

Ping pong is a sport that Chinese have dominated for years and will continue to dominate. Don’t even try to compete against the Chinese.