by Wade Townsend
Can anybody stop China at the Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships? It’s going to be tough, but the globe’s best table tennis nation is keeping an eye on likely contenders.
A poster has been setup in the training hall, displaying the possible threats to China’s supremacy. The top tier are their main opponents; Liu Guoliang probably has a book of tactics on each of these guys. The second tier are the players you don’t want to be having an off day against, and the third tier the wild cards. Making this list is a sure sign that you’ve made it.
It’s an interesting look inside China’s psyche and how they see their opponents.
Some are obvious choices; by now there’s probably a permanent picture of Vladi hanging in the change rooms, possibly with a few well placed darts. It also seems that only on defender makes the grade; Panagiotis Gionis the only real threat.
There could be a secondary reason for the poster; maybe it will play mind games with their opponents. Will Muramatsu be jealous that he’s no where to be found but Harimoto made the list? Will Kristian Karlsson be feeling smug he’s a tier above Mattias Karlsson, even though Mattias is currently ranked higher?
Checkout the Chinese hit list below and tell us if they’ve underestimated anyone, or if you think they’ve missed an underdog.