Like ping-pong and football! The self-report of the only Chinese contestant in the Taike Ball World Championships

Ambassador for the global image of Taiwan kickball: Ronaldinho
Teqball, a ball game played on curved tables similar to ping-pong tables, originated in Hungary in 2014 and combines elements of football and table tennis. Players can hit the ball with any body part except arms and hands.
Football superstar Ronaldinho is the global promotion ambassador for the sport. Ronaldinho hopes to promote the Taike ball into a sport recognized by the International Olympic Committee: “so I can become an Olympic champion.”
On November 27, 2022, the Fifth Taiwan Ball World Championships ended in Nuremberg, Germany. This article is the self-account of Zhang Junming, the only contestant in China.
While the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is in full swing, another international tournament, the Fifth Taike World Championship, is being held in Nuremberg, Germany.
Taike Ball, which is popular in Europe and the United States, is a new type of table football that integrates table tennis equipment, football skills and volleyball rules. It originated in Hungary in 2012 and was introduced into China in 2016. It has been promoted in Beijing, Xiamen, Sanya and other cities, but there are not many people who are really in contact with and familiar with the sport, fewer professional athletes, and even fewer related clubs. Tengbo (Xiamen) Taike Ball Club, where I belong, is currently the only designated organization officially authorized by the International Taike Ball Federation in China.
The contest between Zhang Junming and Danish players
Only Tengbo Club was invited to participate in this year’s Nuremberg World Championships. As amateur athletes, while we are delighted to be qualified for the competition, we will inevitably feel a little sad-it can be predicted that the road to entry will be lonely.
What is even more unexpected is that although the club sought support from all sides and tried to create conditions to send Sun Pengxu, Cui Yazhen and me to the battle, due to many reasons such as insufficient entry fees and conflicts with the working hours of the units I worked for, I was the only one who went to Europe.
On November 20th, on the flight to Frankfurt, I had a lot on my mind. From the first contact with the Taike ball in 2018, to the two-man team’s victory over Argentina and England at the 2019 Budapest World Championships; from only one simple table to the club with professional equipment and stadiums. Along the way, went through a lot of hardships without regrets!
Zhang Junming took a photo with the champion of mixed doubles and two Hungarian players.
On November 23, I stepped into the competition venue of this World Championships. More than 200 athletes from 55 countries have participated in the competition, which constitutes the most magnificent scene of the Taike ball game so far. In just a few years, Taike Ball has attracted more and more attention from all over the world.
Compared with other national teams with more than 10 people, I look particularly lonely. During the game, I raised the national flag in the crowd and asked the members of other countries to take pictures. I felt indescribably lonely. I very much hope that my teammates can stand with me at this moment.
Zhang Junming holds the national flag
In the first day of the men’s singles competition, although the final did not succeed in the promotion, but the game still played some wonderful points.
Due to the impact of the epidemic in the past three years did not participate in the official competition, competition experience compared with European opponents is still slightly inadequate, coupled with insufficient warm-up before the game, the start is in a disadvantageous situation of chasing points. Through this competition to see the shortcomings, but also gained confidence and accumulated valuable experience, which can not be matched by domestic training alone.
After finishing my game schedule and sorting out my mood, I began to seriously study the playing tactics of players from other countries in each event, in order to learn from each other and refine myself.
I have found that the competitive level of athletes from various countries, especially Asian players, has improved significantly compared with previous years. It is worth mentioning that the Thai team was specially invited by the organizing committee as a performance team to fully demonstrate its excellent technical and tactical level in front of the world, winning glory for Asia.
Zhang Junming took a photo with the champion of men’s singles and Romanian players.
On November 28, I finished my trip to the World Championships. Nine days, alone but gain a lot, ambition unrewarded but full of confidence. Although they have not made gratifying achievements, they are at least more aware of their own shortcomings and the direction of their future efforts, and have strengthened their determination and confidence to continue to engage in this cause.
“if sports are strong, China will be strong, and if national luck is prosperous, sports will be prosperous.” Taike Ball is like babbling children in China, and they need enough care and help from all walks of life. With the deepening of the reform and development of national sports and the continuous improvement of the degree of participation in national fitness, we all work hand in hand and work together. I believe that in the near future, more and more compatriots will fall in love with this sport. more and more Chinese athletes stand on the stage of Taike ball competition in the world. At that time, I will no longer be “outnumbered” of the “lone brave”!
Gy ö rgyde á k Apor of Romania finally won the men’s singles final of the Taike World Championships.