Wang Guo Cong

May 21, 2012

Tip of the Week:

Forehand Deception with Shoulder Rotation.

Potomac Open and Chinese Juniors

I had to miss the tournament as I was busy coaching at MDTTC. However, the results were profoundly interesting as they were the first tournaments for the three new MDTTC kids from China. The three, all from the Shandong Luneng Table Tennis School in Shandong, moved here a few weeks ago and plan to learn English and stay through college. They will be training at the Maryland Table Tennis Center as well as acting as practice partners. Here are their rough results.

Wang Qing Liang, 17, is the oldest and strongest. He plays a modern chopper/looper style, very similar to 2003 World Men's Singles Finalist Joo Se Hyuk of South Korea. This means that he mostly chops on the backhand with long pips, and both chops and attacks all-out on the forehand side, where he's ready to counterloop anything. In the semifinals he defeated current U.S. Men's Singles Champion Peter Li 4-2. In the final he faced MDTTC coach Jeffrey Xeng Xun, where after a long battle he lost 4-2. He's about 2550-2600 level, and when the tournament is processed he'll be one of the top two or three resident juniors in the U.S. (along with Michael Landers and Yang Liang), as well as the highest rated chopper. We haven't had a chopper this good since the days of Derek May, Arun Kumar, and Insook Bhushan, but none of those three could attack like this kid.

Chen Bo Wen, 14, is a two-winged penhold looper with a reverse penhold backhand loop that is nothing short of extraordinary - except when compared to his forehand loop, which is even better. He reached the semifinals where he lost to eventual champion Jeffrey Xeng Xun. He's about 2450 level, and when the tournament is processed he'll be one of the top two under 15 resident juniors in the U.S. along with Li Hangyu.

Wang Guo Cong, 12, is a lefty shakehands looper. He upset Raghu Nadmichettu (2408) three straight, but had a bad loss to a 2250 chopper. He's about 2400 level, and when the tournament is processed he'll be one of the top under 13 resident juniors in the U.S. (The U.S. has a surprising number of very strong under 13 players right now - five of them from 2366 to 2420. He'll fit somewhere in there.)

All three will be competing at the U.S. Open, including the junior events.

U.S. Nationwide Table Tennis League Promotional Video

The USNTTL has created a promotional video (5:21), and it is required viewing of all table tennis players. This means you. Yes, you, the one drinking coffee and about to move on to the next item below.

Jim Butler on the Comeback Trail

With recent tournament wins over U.S. National Men's Champion and Runner-up Peter Li and Han Xiao, three-time U.S. National Champion Jim Butler is back in training after eight years away. He also talks about changes to the sport, especially the growing popularity of the reverse forehand pendulum serve, the backhand loop, and backhand receives. Here's the article!

Table Tennis Town

Here's a new table tennis page with lots of links.

Ping-Pong Balls in Space

How'd they get there? Here's the article!

Top Ten Behind the Back Shots of All time

And here they are!

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May 11, 2012

New Chinese kids in Maryland

Now it can be told! After months of negotiation and visa dealings with the State Department (both U.S. and Chinese versions), we have three new Chinese junior players at the Maryland Table Tennis Center. Yes, junior players - they are all from the Shandong Lueng Table Tennis School in Shandong, China. They are here indefinitely, where they will both train and be practice partners while they learn English and later go to school here - they hope to attend college here as well.

They arrived on Tuesday, and played at the club on Wednesday. This afternoon they'll be in the Elite Junior Session from 5-7, and that's when we'll really learn their levels. They are obviously very strong, probably as good as anyone their age in the U.S.  The chopper is the oldest and the strongest - probably in the 2500-2600 range, and will likely be the best chopper in the U.S.  The others are likely in the 2300-2500 range. (All three will compete at the U.S. Open, and perhaps the Easterns.) They are:

  • Wang Qing Liang, age 17, originally from Guangxi Province, a right-handed chopper/looper with long pips on one side.
  • Chen Bo Wen, age 14, originally from Hubei Province, a right-handed two-winged penhold looper with reverse penhold backhand.
  • Wang Guo Cong, age 12, originally from Nanjing, a lefty shakehand looper.

Serving Seminar

As noted in my blog previously, I'm doing a Service Seminar at the Maryland Table Tennis Center tomorrow (Saturday) from 12:30-2:00 PM. Here's the info page! Make sure to email me in advance if you are coming so you can save $5. I'll be covering how to create spin, deception, specific serve motions, and fast serves. We'll alternate between lecture and on-table practice.

U.S. Open Entries

Deadline to enter the 2012 U.S. Open (Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 30-July 4) is May 12, which is TOMORROW!!! After that you can enter through May 19 with a $75 late fee. So enter now!

If you want to watch as the U.S. Open entries come in, here's the page that lists entries by event, and this one alphabetically. (Click on a player's ID number and you'll see what events he's entered in.) There are currently 212 entries. There's always a lag between entries being received and put online, and there's always a last-minute rush, but inevitably we'll end up somewhere in the 700-800 range. Deadline to enter is May 12.

Chinese Olympic Women's Team

Here's a story about the Chinese women going to the Olympics, including injury news (Ding Ning replaces the injured Guo Yan), doubles info, and comparisons to the Chinese heyday of a few years ago with Zhang Yining and Wang Nan.

Santa Barbara Ping Pong

I mentioned in my blog yesterday how Santa Barbara wants to put up outside cement tables next to their libraries. Now they have a web page devoted to this - http://www.PublicPingPongSantaBarbara.com! "Ping pong is available to people of all walks of life, and to all ages and skill levels. We see this table as a singular way to bring a social sport, that’s already well-loved, to public spaces. We have benefactors who will donate our first table, the cost of delivery, and installation. We just need approvals." The article also links to this article from the New York Times from March, 2011, which is also about the joys of outdoor cement tables, also with pictures.

Gazette Feature Article

The Gazette is sending a reporter and photographer to the Maryland Table Tennis Center today to do a feature story. They'll be there between 5-7PM during the Elite Junior Session, and may stay after to take pictures when the club is jammed after 7:30PM for the Friday night league.

Coaching Offer

Yesterday I received an email with a "coaching offer" from someone from the Shaanxi Province of China. They offered me $29,000/month ($348,000/year) if I'd become the Technical Adviser for their club. All I had to do was furnish them with lots of personal info and I'd be all set! Between that and the Nigerian offers, I'm in great demand.

Table Tennis Out of This World

Here's a picture of astronauts playing table tennis at Johnson Space Center. The guy on the left has a proper grip, but the guy on the right has serious grip issues. Anyone know their names?

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