Europe in desperate need of Chinese table tennis help: Schlager

Updated: 2013-05-14 11:09


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VIENNA - The level of Chinese table tennis players is so far above that of others that a non-Chinese winner at the current World Table Tennis Championships in Paris-Bercy is hardly conceivable, Austrian table tennis star Werner Schlager said Monday.

The 2003 world champion made the comments to the APA just before leaving for the tournament. He witnessed the prowess of the Chinese national team first-hand at his own table tennis academy in Austria last week.

"Their training level is higher than I thought it was, so extraordinarily high," he said.

In addition he said there were many new young Chinese players appearing on the scene, pushing the level at the top higher.

In order for other countries to become competitive once again they would require regular training with the Chinese, who in turn would have to take a "neighbour-in-need approach and send five coaches and 500,000 euros to each country," Schlager said.

A possible beginning for cooperation was during the Table Tennis World Tour earlier in the year when Chinese players were matched with non-Chinese players for doubles matches.

Schlager said however he was not sure how much further the cooperation would go, given that the Chinese team would not be prepared to lose titles through such efforts.