May 30, 2023

UPDATE - I'm still sick in bed and feeling like someone dropped a ping-pong table on my head, and I've decided I'm skipping this week's blog. (Don't worry, I tested for Covid, negative.) I'm going through Kleenex like multiball and coughing up stuff every few minutes. I don't think I've had a cold or flu like this in several years. I think I caught whatever I have last Wednesday, when I spent the day in DC touring Ford's Theater, and then a tour of all the major monuments - Washington (took the elevator to the top), Lincoln, Jefferson, MLK, FDR, WW1, WW2, Korean, Vietnam, and even the Einstein Memorial a few blocks away from the National Mall. I also walked around the White House and visited Lafayette Square, and then visited Spin DC Table Tennis, which was also just a few blocks away. So I was around crowds all day, and also on the jammed subway back and forth. I was supposed to spend Fri & Sat as a panelist at the Baltimore Science Fiction Convention, but had to drop out. I was feeling better Saturday night, and so coached two group sessions on Sunday - but near the end of the first one, I got weak and dizzy and had to stop about 15 minutes before the end of the session. (But I still came back for the second one.) Afterwards, whatever I have got worse. But I think it's just a bad cold, though I have some suspicions I might have had mild flu at the same time - had some stomach problems. 

But the Tip of the week is up, Solving Slow Starter Syndrome. And here are Results from the World Championships, which finished over the weekend. Linked below are the two all-Chinese singles finals, with time between points removed. (The men’s semifinals were all-Chinese, and the women’s semifinals were three Chinese and Hina Hayata of Japan, who lost to eventual winner Sun Yingsha in the semifinals, 4-1.) In the men’s final, Fan was up 10-5 championship point in the fifth, but lost six in a row before losing 13-11, but he won the sixth easily, 11-3. It’s Fan’s second straight Men’s Singles title at the Worlds (2021 and 2023), and third final – he lost deuce in the seventh to Ma Long in the 2017 final.

Here’s an interesting thought – after Ma Long won three straight men’s titles, 2015, 2017, and 2019, he was often called the Greatest of All Time. But if Fan had won that nail-bitingly close 2019 final, where he led 9-7 in the seventh, this would be his third title, to Ma Long’s two – would they be calling Fan Zhendong the GOAT, with Ma out of the running? (Ma Long, 34, lost in the semifinals here, to Wang Chuqin.) Of course, they’ve both won a bunch of other titles – and Ma Long has won five golds at the Olympics, including the last two in Men’s Singles, defeating Fan in the final in 2020, while Fan has just one Olympic Gold, for teams. (If you want their complete medal records, click on their names above, linked to Wikipedia, and click on “medals record” on right.)