7 May 2009

Chinese ping pong domination not good for the sport

6:05 am on 7 May 2009

China's deputy sports minister says their domination at the world table tennis championships was detrimental to the development of the sport and it must do more to help rivals become more competitive.

Table tennis has long been one of China's favourite sports and its players won 18 of the 20 medals, including a sweep of all five titles, in Japan over the last week.

Cai Zhenhua says he's personally anxious that it is dangerous for the development of the sport worldwide.

After winning all four golds at last year's Beijing Olympics, China's domination of table tennis was reinforced in Yokohama where the five finals were all-Chinese affairs.

Cai, a former doubles world champion and national head coach, said the Chinese had to help develop competitive rivals in other countries that were strong enough to challenge for medals.

Cai suggested inviting foreign players to train in China and sending national coaches abroad, adding that up to 70 percent of Chinese knowledge and tactics could be shared with others.