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Apple News Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Tuesday, Feb 26, 2019
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Legendary Liu puts onus on coaches to generate success

By SHI FUTIAN (China Daily)    14:46, February 26, 2019

 

Liu Guoliang receives an interview on Sept 27, 2018. (Photo/Xinhua)

Since being appointed chairman of the Chinese Table Tennis Association in December, Liu Guoliang's overarching remit has been to return China to ping-pong prominence at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

On Monday in Beijing, the 43-year-old legendary player and coach unveiled tough new measures to further that goal by ratcheting up pressure on Team China's coaches, whose earnings will now be determined by a results-based evaluation system.

The squad's structure has also been overhauled, with both the men's and women's contingents split into A and B units, each with its own coach.

The men's team head coach is Qin Zhijian, while the women's team is helmed by Li Sun.

The men's A squad will be managed by Liu Guozheng, with Chen Zhenjiang taking charge of group B.

On the women's side, former Olympic champion Ma Lin will coach group A, with Yan Sen responsible for the B team.

Crucially, all coaches will be evaluated via a tough results-based points system.

Coaches can only score points by winning gold medals at international tournaments.

The world championships will offer the greatest number of points-4,000-this year, with a total of 18,000 up for grabs among all competitions.

A team that scores less than 12,000 points will be deemed to have failed, resulting in a coach's salary being halved and a demotion.

Liu himself will not be immune to these measures, with the two-time Olympic champion and former Grand Slam winner agreeing to forego his entire salary as CTTA chairman should any group fail the evaluation.

With Team China's traditional dominance on the table now increasingly under threat from the likes of Japan, Germany and South Korea, Liu has urged the new teams to embrace the reforms and help solve what he has described the "crisis" facing Chinese table tennis.

"We are facing a very real and severe crisis, but the national table tennis team has never been afraid of challenges," Liu said during his inaugural speech last December.

"Given the age of our top foreign rivals, we might face greater challenges in the Olympics. The Japanese team has been making efforts for decades and they dream of winning gold in Tokyo. I have to admit the gap is closing."

Liu began his reform work last year by establishing an athletes committee and a two-way selection system for coaches and players in a bid to produce more suitable partnerships.

"Team China has overcome so many crises in the past. Even if there are competitive rivals and difficulties at the Tokyo Games, we will still pull teeth from the tiger's mouth," vowed Liu at the start of his tenure. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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