July 19, 2021

Tip of the Week for July 19
What Do You Do That Threatens Your Opponent?

Tip of the Week for July 26
Don't "Guide" Your Loop.

No Blog Next Week (July 26), But There Will Be a Tip
From July 23-31 I'll be in an intensive online science fiction writing workshop, "The Never-Ending Odyssey," which I attend each year, along with other graduates of the Odyssey SF Writing Workshop. (This is my 12th TNEO, including nine in a row. They normally are in Manchester, NH, but now they are online.) As many readers know, outside table tennis I'm also a science fiction writer with four novels (including my fantasy table tennis novel, "The Spirit of Pong," which you must read) and 119 short story sales (159 if you include resales). I'll be involved in writerly activities pretty much all day and night for those nine days. Don't worry, I'll make sure to shadow practice between sessions and will even wear various table tennis/science fiction shirts I've picked up over the years, such as my Pongsaurus shirt! So next blog will be Aug. 2. However, I will put up a Tip of the Week next Monday, July 26. (And while 119 short sales may seem like a lot, but it's dwarfed by my 1799 published articles on table tennis - not including another 1800+ blog entries! Yeah, my next published TT article will be #1800. Here's my complete bibliography.)

Olympic Table Tennis
It takes place in Tokyo, July 24 - Aug. 6, though few will see it since no spectators are allowed. Here's where you can follow the table tennis action from the ITTF.

Since the ITTF hasn't yet put up the schedule, here's the schedule directly from Olympics.com. Also, see the section on Olympic Table Tennis below.

BREAKING NEWS - This NBC site will be streaming table tennis live

Long Pips and Short Pips and Antispin, Oh My!
At the Nationals, one of our top juniors, Stanley Hsu, had to play someone with antispin who he'd lost to previously in an upset. As I wrote in my blog last week, I searched the playing hall and found Dan Seemiller Jr., who lent me his backup racket with anti. I practiced with Stanley for almost half an hour with the racket, and it paid off - he went into the match comfortable against the anti this time and won easily.

But I shouldn't have had to search for an anti racket - I already had one made up. I simply hadn't packed it for the Nationals, to save on baggage. We also had several matches where our kids played against short and long pips players. I had brought long pips rackets (both with and without sponge) but not short pips. I've now made a vow to never show up at a tournament as a coach where I don't bring the entire collection. I have a large four-racket case, and I filled it up with four rackets, each with inverted on one side, and an "off" surface on the other - long pips with sponge, long pips without sponge, short pips (a new sheet I just got), and antispin. I also always have my hardbat in a separate case, in case that comes up. Including my regular inverted racket, that's six rackets I'll be bringing to all tournaments, not to mention having handy in practice. (I used to do this at major tournaments, but sometimes got lazy to save on baggage.) 

Maryland Table Tennis Center Featured in Chinese World Journal
Here are the three stories published on July 21. They are in Chinese, so I can't read them directly, alas. (I did an online translation, but it comes out poorly.) They have a number of pictures.

RIP Charles "Bubba" Butler
Here's the legacy obit. He was a top ten player in the US in the late 1970s/early 1980s before moving to Germany to play in the German leagues, and later to coach. (He also apparently played TT at halftimes with the Harlem Globetrotters.) I hadn't seen or heard of him until this came up. There's little info in the obit other than the note on lower left from Merle Grall. He's been hiding under the radar - I couldn't find a picture of him online, not even from long ago.

Tokyo Vlog #1 - My Final Preparations
Here's the video (3:25) from Timo Boll.

Backhand Topspin Your Biomechanical Description, Part 1 of 3
Here's the video (1:51) from Performance Biomechanics Table Tennis.

Here's the video (6:23) from Dublin TTC.

Why You SHOULD Be Making Excuses!
Here's the video (5:07) from Louis Levene.

Seth Pech vs Sid Naresh $3000 Open FINALS 2021
Here's the video (6:23) as Seth gives great point-by-point analysis.

Developing Tough Placement
Here's the video (34 sec) from Eli Baraty.

New from PingSunday/EmRatThich
Here's his video page with LOTS of new stuff this past week!

New from Ti Long

New from Samson Dubina

New from Edges and Nets

Left-Handed Challenge - Match Report 1
Here's the article by Tom Lodziak.

Mostly Messy Tournament Experiences
Here's the article from Coach Jon.

Binghamton University Student is Table Tennis Phenom
Here's the article from the Bing U News, featuring Kai Zhang and Will Shortz. "By the time he started his freshman year at Binghamton University, Kai Zhang had been the subject of scrutiny, speculation and a story in The New Yorker. He is a table tennis phenom who started playing at age 6 in Beijing, China. At 15, he moved — by himself — to the United States to pursue greater opportunities for both his sport and his education. His guardian is Will Shortz, a man who has not missed a day playing table tennis in more than five years. And yes, he's that Will Shortz: NPR puzzle master and New York Times crossword editor."

I've Outlasted Them All': the Spectacular Life of the World's Most Powerful Crossword Editor
Here's the article from The Guardian that features Will Shortz - puzzlist and table tennis player & owner.

New Guinness World Record for Longest Table Tennis Serve Set in Pleasantville
Here's the video (1:53) from the News 12 at Westchester, featuring Eric Finkelstein.

Adam Bobrow on His Love for Table Tennis
Here's the article from The Telegraph India. "'The Voice of Table Tennis', in a candid chat opens up about his Olympics debut as a commentator."

Katy Table Tennis Academy Starts 'em Young in Hopes of Producing National Champion
Here's the article from Khou 11 in Texas.

74-year-old Table Tennis Paralympian Coaches, Inspires Younger Players
Here's the article and video (2:19) from News 7 in Miami, featuring Terese Terranova.


Chinese Table Tennis Team Arrives for Tokyo Olympic Games
Here's the article form Xinhua Net.

What Makes China a Dynasty in Table Tennis, Particularly at the Olympics
Here's the article from First Post.

South Korean Table Tennis Legend Ryu Tests Positive Upon Arrival for Tokyo 2020
Here's the article from Xinhua Net on the 2004 Olympic Men's Singles Gold Medalist Ryu Seung-min.

The African Table Tennis Star Hoping to End Chinese Dominance
Here's the article from DW featuring Aruna Quadri.

Aruna Quadri Makes Top 15 Seeding List In Table Tennis
Here's the article from Complete Sports. Also talks about the other top seeds.

Five Table Tennis Stars to Watch Out For
Here's the article from Sport Star: The Hindu.

Tokyo Olympics: Indian Table Tennis Players Profile, Ranking, Opponents, Form Guide
Here's the article from Sports Star: The Hindu.

India's Table-Tennis Contingent For Tokyo Olympics Best Ever, Says Sharath Kamal
Here's the article from NDTV Sports.

How Table Tennis Player Manika Batra Didn't Even Have a Table to Practice on During Lockdown
Here's the article from India Today.

Olympic Glossary: Pimpled Rubber, Acne of the Table Tennis Kind
Here's the article from the Indian Express.


New from Steve Hopkins

Table Tennis Amidst the Pandemic

Here's the article by Angie Tan.

2021 World Table Tennis Championships is Ready for Lift-off in Houston

Here's the ITTF article. They take place Nov. 23-29 - alas, during the North American Teams, where I'll be coaching, with 1000 players and lots of other coaches and parents, all missing the Worlds in the US because they scheduled the Worlds at the same time as the Teams. Tickets go on sale in August.

ITTF World Rankings

Here are the July 13 World Rankings, and here's an ITTF article that features six top players: Mima Ito (JPN, world #2), Ma Long (CHN, #3) Cheng I-Ching (TPE, #8), Dimitrij Ovtcharov (GER, #9), Petrissa Solja (GER, #20), and Prithika Pavade (FRA, #390, age 16).

COVID-19 Disruption Sees New Qualification System Adopted for World Table Tennis Championships
Here's the article from Inside the Games.

Here's their news pagevideo page ("World Table Tennis") and home page.

2021 Nationals Highlights from Aziz Zarehbin
Here's the video (4:35). Aziz won Under 2450, made the semifinals of Under 19 Boys, and quarterfinals of Under 17 Boys.

New from the Malong Fanmade Channel
Lots of new videos here!

8 Minutes of Drop Shots in Table Tennis
Here's the video from Rational Table Tennis Analysis.

New from Table Tennis Central

X GOAT - Greatest Of All Time
Here's the video (14:21) from XOLAY!

"I Like Table Tennis & Maybe 3 People"
Here's where you can get the shirt at Amazon!

"I Literally Do Not Even Remember What We Do Here"
Here's the cartoon!

Home Depot Pong
Here's the video (21 sec)! (While it looks like a Home Depot, the two players are wearing some uniform with what looks like the top of a hammer as a logo. Let me know if you know what store this actually is.)

Non-Table Tennis - Science Fiction & Fantasy Story Sales
I've sold three short stories in the past two weeks. They are:

  • "Madam Hitler" to New Myths Magazine. What happens if a time traveling tourist shows up as Hitler is about to shoot himself on April 30, 1945, and inadvertently gives him a device that allows him to trade bodies with someone else, allowing him to escape? Story has a huge climax with Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all in a room together. (Don't worry, things won't go well for these baddies.)
  • "Prototype Solar System with Strings Attached" to Galaxy's Edge. We finally find out how and why God (and his overworked angel engineers) created gravity, dark matter, strings, and other strange things when He created the universe. Nothing controversial here!!!
  • "The Devil's Backbone" to Alternative Deathiness Anthology. What happens when an ice cream man dies and is forced to live his "afterlife" in a colony on the backbone of the Devil himself? It starts with the craziest chase scene I've ever written - the ice cream man in his truck trying to evade the huge hand and incredibly long arm of the Devil.

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