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Sharara's New Developments For Table Tennis

Sharara's new developments for table tennis
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Along with the Harmony 2011 China Open in Suzhou, ITTF's President Adham Sharara talked with the media about the competition and some new developments for the table tennis sport. Initially, Sharara made a humorous answer to their continuing dilemma on China's dominance. However, the president turned into his serious side and talked about ITTF's plans to address such dilemma. In addition, Sharara wishes to change the concept of the sport and the size and composition of the table tennis ball.

In the recently concluded Harmony 2011 China Open in Suzhou, the Chinese paddlers, once again, showed their dominance over the sport. Almost all the medals available in the tournament was earned by China including all championship titles in the Men's and Women's Singles, and Men's and Women's Doubles. 

Because of this situation, ITTF President Sharara continues to be haunted by the dilemma. And his initial response? "I need to cut the legs of the Chinese players!" This was Sharara's answer to their continuing concern of breaking the monoply of the Chinese players, said in a jokingly manner.

"First of all, the ITTF doesn't want to limit a particular association. I hope that there would be a common development and that other countries will learn from China." Saharara explained. He also said that there are two ways to break the dominance of the sport. "First we encourage foreign players to come to China to train or allow the coaches to go abroad to train foreign paddlers. However, the second option is quite a challenge as it requires China's cooperation. China might be hesitatnt to accept this as it will increase the chances of foreign players to win. However, this must be done."

"My second proposal is that I hope a certain player will be regarded as a single entitiy. The Chinese tennis player Li Na is now in a very good playing condition. But many spectators don't see her as China's representative but Li Na herself. I hope that Wang Liqin or Wang Hao be able to represent themselves. In team and big competitions, they will represent China but in ordinary matches, they will represent themselves," Sharara added.

Sharara also calls for the media and the audience to create a distinct character of the starts. "In this case spectators will have the tendency to support the players and not the countries," Sharara concluded.

Lastly, Sharara also indicated his intention of revising the ball size and composition once again. "The current plan of the ITTF is to prohibit the use of celluloid ball. Such move is because of two reasons. One is that celluloids are toxic and it will have an impact towards the factory workers. The second is that it is quite dangerous to transport since it highly flammable. The new ball will be seamless and China already counts with two factories that are working in the new ball, one owned by DHS, and the by Double Fish. It will be operational as soon as the London Olympics is over."

With regards to the size, Adam Sharara said that the new ball size would be increased. This is to give a chance to defensive players to overcome offensive players. If the ball is bigger, rallies will become slower so defensive players will have more chances to win points.  

Tabletennistas, what do you think of ITTF's new developments of the sport?

Photo source: Official Weibo Account of the Harmony 2011 China Open

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The longest rally ever lasted 2 hours and 12 minutes. It was played in the 1936 WTTC

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