. CHINA IS A POWERHOUSE AND SWEDEN IS TOUGH TOO, BUT watch out for
the home team. In 1986, South Korea beat China in the men's team
competition at the Asian Games in Seoul as Yoo Nam Kyu upset Jiang
Jialiang of China. At the Asian Championships in May in Japan, the
South Koreans sent another message, winning the mixed doubles,
women's doubles and women's team titles. ''The Swedes worry me,''
says Xu Shaofa, China's coach. ''The Koreans worry me most.''
In table tennis, unlike tennis, crowds aren't scolded to keep
quiet. ''Oh god, Korean fans are something,'' says Swedish coach Glen
Ost. ''In '82 we played in Seoul, and the noise was terrible. It's
impossible to get advice to the players. I've put speakers in our
training hall to get our players used to it.''
Leading the Swedes will be Jan-Ove Waldner, 23, the No. 2 player
in the world after Jiang. ''If he's right, he's the best I've ever
seen,'' says Ost of Waldner. ''He uses five grips and can change his
game instantly. But in Stockholm he lives in the wrong place. Too
much nightlife, too many nice girls.'' And in Seoul, perhaps, too
much Jiang. -- R.S.
This is an article from the Sept. 14, 1988 issue