SPORTS

Chinese table tennis coach for Korea says women's team lacks ace

By Yonhap
  • Published : Aug 9, 2017 - 15:35
  • Updated : Aug 11, 2017 - 12:01

Zhong Jinyong, former Chinese national table tennis coach recently named to the South Korean women's coaching staff, said Wednesday he'll try to develop an ace for his new team.

Zhong was appointed the South Korean women's national table tennis team coach last month by the Korea Table Tennis Association. He will coach the players through the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta alongside head coach An Jae-hyung.

Zhong is the first Chinese to work with the South Korean women's team since 1998.

Zhong said South Korean women's table tennis lacks an ace who can lead the squad.

"There isn't a big difference between a player who is regarded as an ace of the team and the rest," Zhong said to reporters at the National Training Center in Seoul. "In table tennis, speed, power and spin are the three important elements, but I don't see a player who is excellent in those elements."

Zhong Jinyong, a Chinese coach for the South Korean women's national table tennis team, teaches a player during their training at the National Training Center in Seoul on Aug. 9, 2017. (Yonhap)
Zhong said he is in the process of developing one or two players into the ace for the team, adding that he will make them feel more passionate about playing table tennis.

"South Korean women's table tennis in the golden days had sharpness and was a threat to other teams," he said. "Now, in addition to that, we must play a type of table tennis that combines speed, power and spin."

The women's team failed to reach the quarterfinals at the last two world championships and was also eliminated in the last eight at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. It was the first time that South Korean women were knocked out in the quarterfinals at the Olympic table tennis competition.

Zhong said he wants to see South Korean players standing on the podium at the world championships in April and at the Asian Games in August next year. He also believes that South Korean players will be good enough to beat China in the future.

"I might not see South Korean women's table tennis beating China during my stay here," he said. "But I don't think South Korean table tennis will lose forever. Someday, it can beat China."

Zhong said he will also take good care of South Korean prospects.

"I don't think young players lack skills, but they just don't have enough training." he said. "Without more training, you can't raise good players." (Yonhap)