5 years ago
Thanks again to our guest correspondent Glenn O'Dea for this interesting article about World Rankings.
Have you ever wondered how good Australia’s top players are compared to the rest of the world? It’s always been difficult to estimate, but now with the help of a website called tabletennis.guide, it’s a bit easier.
Looking at players with rankings in the ITTF standings, they have analysed the ratings points for each player, grouped them, and then ranked the countries. As a further guide, they have also averaged the top three players from each country and ranked those as well. The results down the list are interesting, but let’s look at the top countries in the Men’s first.
As you would expect, China leads the way. Their Top 3 players have an average rating of 3231, miles ahead of Germany whose Top 3 players average 2665 points. Japan is just behind with their Top 3 averaging 2660. South Korea, Hong Kong, Portugal, Sweden, France, Taiwan and Austria round out the top 10 countries. Australia is in 46th place. Our Top 3 players average 1396 points. We’re fast approaching Latvia, Chile and Qatar, but we are already ahead of Lithuania. Yes!!! In your face, Vilnius.
And what of countries we compare ourselves against in other areas? England is in a very respectable 13th position, Canada is in 55th, just ahead of the USA in 56th. Others from our region include Vanuatu in 74th, position, New Caledonia in 87th and New Zealand in 93rd.
As big a gap as there is between China and the rest, it becomes more obvious when you look at the average of all ITTF ranked players from the country. In the Men’s listing, China’s Top 3 average 3231, but the average of all of their ranked players is 2737, while the average of all ranked German players is 1692. Wow. That’s quite a difference. The average for all ranked Australian players is 932, showing the huge gap in overall talent between us and the top nations. On the average of all ranked players, Australia drops to 70th. We are well behind Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgzstan & Turkmenistan. Hell, we’re even behind Luxembourg, a country so small that you need to carry your passport when at the table in case you get pushed back to play a lob.
So what of the Women? Well, China are on top again, but the chasers are much closer. China’s Top 3 players have an average rating of 3288, not that far ahead of Japan on 3003. Singapore is a very creditable third with an average of 2906, followed by Germany, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Romania, Monaco, and North Korea charging up like an intercontinental...... umm, charging up very fast.
Australia is in 40th position with our Top 3 averaging 1738. We are just behind Egypt who are in 39th, and we are being pushed from behind by the Greeks. England are not as powerful in the Women’s competition, coming in at 28th, Canada are in 47th and the USA are in 49th. From the Oceania region, New Zealand are in 74th position, Fiji are 83rd, and New Caledonia are 84th.
When ranked by all players, there’s an interesting surprise. China are still on top with an average of 2792, but Monaco is ranked second with 2593. The reason for this is that Monaco has only one player in the ITTF rankings, and she’s very good.
Regular readers will remember that last year I made an offer of travelling to Monaco and finding out why they had only one player at that level. All you had to do was to raise the relevant funding for my trip (business class), with a little extra spending money for the casino. That offer still stands.
But moving on, Japan have an average of 2414, and the North Koreans are poised to launch with an average of 2359. Australia drop to 69th on this list with an average of 999, sandwiched between Turkmenistan and Pakistan (numerically, not geographically).
While Australia dominate our region, there is still much room for improvement before we can match it with the big guns of the sport. But as baseball coach, Terry Bradshaw said, “When you’ve got something to prove, there’s nothing greater than a challenge.”
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