Topic: The Story Behind Chinese Table Tennis: Tomokazu Zhang and Miwa Zhangmoto
Sports knows no borders, and the Olympic spirit is "faster, higher, stronger". Sport not only symbolizes world peace, friendship and solidarity, but also reflects the nationality of the athletes. Some people are willing to return to their motherland in order to represent China, while some people are willing to give up their Chinese nationality in order to win the competition, such as Tomokazu Zhang and Miwa Zhangmoto.
Tomokazu Zhangmoto, formerly known as Zhang Zhihe, was born in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, and his ancestral home is Sichuan Province, China. His parents are both from Sichuan Province, China, and they are a couple from a Chinese table tennis family. However, due to limited development in China, Tomokazu Zhang switched to Japan. It is understandable for parents to go elsewhere for the better development of their children. But as a Chinese, he chose to go to Japan to develop and denigrate China on the playing field, which was criticized by countless fans.
Before the age of 18, many behaviors of children are the responsibility of their parents. Tomokazu Zhangmoto's parents went to Japan together when he was very young, except for Tomokazu Zhangmoto, who retained his original name and Chinese nationality, and his sister Miwa Zhangmoto changed to Zhang Benyu in 2014 and became a Japanese citizen.
Perhaps an unsatisfactory encounter can change a person's original intention, for them, Zhang reached the quarterfinals of the men's singles at "Slovenia" in 2016, becoming the youngest quarter-finalist in the senior category of the ITTF Open and the youngest winner in the history of the World Youth Championships. With his blessing, Zhang Benyu was nominated for the 2017 ITTF Best Coach and achieved certain results. However, at the WTT World Cup in Singapore in December 2021, he lost 1-4 to Fan Zhendong to finish runner-up, which put an end to Tomokazu Zhangmoto's arrogance on the court.
In 2019, Zhang Benyu's daughter Zhang Benmei and others also made a name for themselves on the ITTF Junior Tour. At just 10 years old, she won the Women's Singles title at U-13 level and again at the ITTF Czech Junior Tour in 2020. This has aroused widespread concern and regret, and at the same time, it has also made it difficult for countless Chinese to send blessings. After all, historical events such as Japan's war of aggression against China and the Nanjing Massacre are still deeply engraved in the memory of Chinese and cannot be forgotten.
Everyone has to make different choices under their own survival and development. Liu Guoliang also said that he understands his family's decision to immigrate to Japan, because China's table tennis strength has always been in the leading position in the world, and the competitive pressure is very high, and it is difficult to get ahead.
Although we understand their choices for better development and the realization of personal values, we hope that they who were once Chinese can remain humble and respectful, and always remember that they are Chinese. Sport knows no borders, but athletes always have an identity of their own, which cannot be forgotten.