Where did Chinese table tennis star Ma Long learn his silky skills?


Hi I’m Tom here for China Focus and we’re
in Zhengding County, Hebei province. Now whilst Zhengding is usually known for
its amazing pagodas and its beautiful temples, we are actually somewhere a bit different,
a bit of a national treasure, a hidden treasure, in Zhengding and that’s the Chinese Table
Tennis Association’s Centre of Excellence. The state of the art, international facility
includes 3 training gyms, a track and field arena, a table tennis exhibition hall, as well as comfortable dormitories for the students to live on site. Over the past 26 years, the training base
has helped produce over 70 world champions, 26 Olympic gold medal winners, as well as
numerous silver and bronze medalists. Now this center has been running for years and
training some of the best, well know table tennis stars from all over the world to win different competitions. One player hoping to add her name to that list of champions is seven-year-old Daria Tailakova from Russia. She came to Zhengding, along with her mother,
to embark on an international program. Every day, with the help of her Russian speaking coach, Daria practices for five hours, smashing balls back across the table at a tremendous speed. I certainly felt that in our practice match
when Daria left me on the end of a crushing defeat. I could certainly do with a bit of coaching
from Zhengding’s finest. Now behind me are the next generation of youngsters, training away, trying to become the next winners at the next Olympics Now, they are all hoping that in this center,
with its many coaches, they can hone their skills and maybe become as successful as Ma
Long, who in the Olympics in 2016 won gold in the singles and doubles.

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