Yup, i agree with all who speaks about the mentality part. Personally, i quite positive our paddlers are technically very sound players. Only thing is that the China paddlers controls the ball most of the time as our players lack the grit and mental attitude they had in the semi-finals.
Well, I guess the motivation for both rounds to the team is different. The semi-finals is a DO or DIE thing whilst the finals is just "do your best".
Please, spare a thought for the athletes who spent years and years of practice...just to compete! Even if the person came last. He/she is still trying to give his/her best for a country.
In the spirit of sport, it is not just about winning gold or a medal. It is all about in pursuit of personal excellence.
In FTW's case, her mom who is a single mother walked for 3 hours a day to work in a farm, just to save $2 dollar for her to buy ping pong balls. Her father was sicked an passed away a month prior to competition...
FTW is the fastest rising ping pong player in the world to date. From ranking of 100th to 20th, took only 8 months. Currently, she ranked world's number 8.
Honestly, even if she really din win a medal. I think she deserve the very best praises
Life never meant to be easy. But it is always encouraging to hear or see a 'fighter'.
You can find Chinese article on FTW: http://2008.zaobao.com/pages1/spore080817f.shtml
Furthermore all the prediction about how our players would fare were thrown out of the window as the ball left the player's hand...
But Wang was really off colour.
Zhang Yining is really really excellent. She is the Tiger Woods of female table tennis. Untouchable. Everything Jiawei threw at her, she got an answer.
For lucky few, a gold pass to new life
Rowan Callick | August 18, 2008 12:00am
UNTIL recently, one of China's new wave of gold medallists used to stay after competition tLong Qingquano collect the empty water bottles the audience left behind.
The water bottles were then sold to recyclers to help pay for his meals.
Immense national pride is palpable in the fervent celebrations by Chinese athletes of yet another gold medal but there's another thought going through the minds of many of the winners too: they have in that moment dragged their family out of poverty.
This may explain why China has won twice as many gold medals as silver, and four times as many as bronze.
There are only modest rewards, and no commercially exploitable fame, in coming second or third. It's all about winning.
China's gold medals come loaded up with almost $1million benefits in cash and kind, from the national and regional governments and from commercial sponsors.
And a large proportion of the winners come from poor backgrounds.
Long Qingquan, 17, who won gold in the 56kg weightlifting, is a good example.
He was born in Rehu, a village whose inhabitants come from the Miao ethnic group - one of China's 56 "minorities" in Hunan, the province where Mao Zedong grew up.
His father sold pork from a cart on the street. From the age of six, Long began helping his father pull the cart around the village.
When he reached nine, Long was chosen by the county sports school, and five years later he won three gold medals in the annual games of the Xiangxi prefecture.
At the same time, the price of pork began to plummet, and so the family's income plunged with it. Long's father quit his business and travelled to Anhui province to find a job, joining the great army of 200 million migrant workers in China.
After his father found work, his mother joined him in Anhui, where she planted vegetables and raised chickens to help support Long's training.
The boy only received 180 yuan ($30) per month from the sports school to cover his food, clothes and other needs.
Long also did a variety of jobs, from the age of 13, to help support himself. He was paid for helping clean the training area at the sports school, and he also collected the plastic water bottles left behind by the audiences where he competed, to sell to recyclers.
When Liu Chunhong, who won the gold medal for the women's 69kg weightlifting, was 12 she was chosen by Yantai sports school in Shandong province.
Her older brother quit his own place at another sports school because he believed her prospects for success were greater, and the family could only afford to pay one set of fees.
Liu's father worked as a farmer, and his mother left home to become a migrant worker, to support her.
But when she was selected by the Shandong provincial sports school, the fees were too steep for them to contemplate.
Her mother Ma Yumin said this year: "We had no choice but to tell the school we had to pull her out."
But, she recalled with tears, "her teacher Zhang Haiyang paid $500 fees, we sold our cow and our pig and borrowed another $120, and Liu scraped in to the school."
These families are now, this week, starting to measure the amazing turn in their fortunes as their immense sacrifices for their children are about to be repaid.
But the chasm between such golden success and just missing out remains immense.
Ai Dongmei, aged 27, who was China's national marathon champion, had to give up running because of injuries to her feet.
She is now supplementing her monthly sports pension of $45 a month by selling children's clothes and popcorn on the streets of Beijing, usually carrying her baby daughter on her back.
She has offered to sell all her medals for $160.
Zhao Yonghua, who won four national skating championships, had to retire after contracting diabetes, and has been struggling on a $35 a month pension since then. She is also trying to sell her medals, to pay for medical help.
Such disparities are prompting a lively online debate in China during the Olympics. Qin Jianzhong wrote on the Phoenix TV website: "The process for selecting and rewarding talent is grossly unfair.
"The children of officials who train as athletes are sometimes put on government department paylists, but poor children have to endure hardships that sometimes break the whole family."
Just hope people learn not take things for granted in life.
Last edited by Benign; 18th August 2008 at 01:46 AM.
LEt's not mix up the 2 matters here.
1. The girls wining the silver medal.
2. Singapore's policy on instant sporting success.
For no 1, I congratulate the girls for the win, they truly deserve it. All the hard years of training and sacrifices has awarded them with a medal. I hope all of us celebrate their success.
For No 2, I dont really know if this is the way to go. Kind of bitter-sweet. How far should we buy success? Perhaps we should grant Michael Phelps citizenship for the next Olympics. What I think would be better if we have given citizenships to coaches, training experts etc to train the home-grown talent and see them grow to become world-class sportsman.
Like how a saying goes " If u give a man a fish, he will have food for the day, if you teach a man how to fish, he will food for the rest of his life"
I don't blame them... everyone needs to make a living.
For #1, while I have my misgivings about the FST scheme, that is another matter and I wholely applaud the girls for their performance and achievement in this sport.
For #2, I read in today's Today newspaper that the SSC chairman's response to the critics is, "Do you have a better suggestion? If you do, please come forward and help us achieve more." Good response... at least far better than the overused, substance-lacking responses that we have heard a fair bit of. This set me thinking... what could be a better idea?
And I thought, why not get the best coaches to train our locals. I believe that training in sports (and pretty much everything else actually) is very important. If you don't believe this, go read the article on Aus swimming coach selling his training methods to China swimming coach... an unknown Chinese swimmer can get the Gold, leaving former WR holder, Jessica Schipper, trailing with bronze.
Next to training, is raw talent. And this, will come down to the ability to recognise and select those who have the raw talent. And this is another area that Singapore is lacking, being a nation that has become accustomed to selecting candidates for elite positions based on academic merit. Singapore will have to become far more creative, insightful and discerning to uncover raw sporting talent - talent that has yet to be developed.
When you think about it... true, other countries have a larger population base and hence a greater probability of producing the talent. But if you consider our medal drought of 48 years, taking an average of 2.5 mil population X 48 = 120 mil. That means that with a population of around 120 mil people, we have been unable to get ANY medal in the Olympics. Please look at the current medal tally and count how many nations on that chart has less than 120 mil. Many of the toppers like Korea and Japan and many others have far less people than this. So stop giving the excuse that we need to import talent cos we our population is small and we have not enough of local talent!
If we stop giving myopic excuses and dig harder to find the problems and solutions, perhaps we would be able to solve the problems OURSELVES, and not take the easy way out by buying foreign talent. If we spend the resources on uncovering and training our local talents instead of looking beyond our shores, perhaps we will find that we really do have a few local talents worthy of an Olympic Gold!
And there, here are my suggestions for the SSC chairman, and where can I voice them? If he was serious about hearing suggestions, why don't he provide and email or website or forum where Singaporeans can do so? Some people do have a brain that thinks and are not merely brushed off by such a statement you made, you know?
The best photographer is one who is inspired by the innate nature of his subjects.
The correct population that we have for the past 48 years, counting every person only once is to take the population size of 48 years ago, then add on the population growth for every subsequent year. This will be the number of people we have for the past 48 years. In other words, if we take all the people from the past 48 years to stand together this year, this will be the number. Anyone has the stats and wants to do the calculations? If will be interesting to know how many people we have and none of us could get an Olympic medal. Something must be wrong somewhere and FTS is not the solution.
I would like to know this figure not to show that we are a failure, but to show that the SSC is not doing the right thing with regards to selection or training or something else. The mentality that we are a small country and therefore lack human resources may not be true. And FTS is not the solution. Getting foreign talent to win medals for us is like having baked a cake that could not win a baking competition... nevermind, I'll just buy a very good cake from a reputable shop and enter it in the competition. Dude, if you don't try to figure out what went wrong in baking the cake and improve your baking methods and recipe, you're never gonna be able to bake a good cake and only rely on cakes from other shops to win the competition.
Yes, FTS can get medals for Singapore, but it takes away the resources and attention that could otherwise be invested in true-blue locals that may bring home a medal with true pride and glory and sing Majulah Singapura when the flag is raised!
Last edited by WuffRuff; 18th August 2008 at 12:16 PM.
The best photographer is one who is inspired by the innate nature of his subjects.
Some people just like to give the "If you can't do better, don't criticise me" approach. That basically is their stop gap and illogical measure to silence critics.
If you treat foreign talents like one of your own. Sooner or later, his/her allegiance is your.
I thought Singapore economic success is very much depend on foreign talents?
What is wronged with 'import'??
Many great sporting nations has foreign talents too?? Eg. Chinese volleyball coach in USA team.
Maybe it is alot easier to take one's frustration on new arrivals???
I don't really care you are black, white or 'zebra'. As long as you can do the job, you are my mate! The keyword in life is 'International'. Unless you want to be 'that frog in a well'.