China, though it took them a while, realised they had to start using this method as well and eventually they did, adapting Sweden's championship-winning technique to reclaim their crown as table tennis' elite in the 1990s.
The Swedes were brilliant for about six or seven years. They had a number of players who were just magnificent, led by Jan-Ove Waldner - the 1992 Olympic men's singles champion - who, I think, was probably the best ever and is still a real hero in China for his spell-binding performances.
Waldner was a pioneer. His innovation, which led his country to prevail in the sport, changed the landscape of table tennis.
When he retired in 2006, Swedish table tennis never really had the same edge.
Today, the Chinese players have got pretty much everything, speed, tecnique and power.
The new generation are really wonderful players. Wang Hao, Zhang Jike and Ma Lin are all ranked in the men's top five and the women's team fill places one to five in the world rankings, led by Li Xiaoxia.
Matthew Syed was talking to Olympic sports reporter Jessica Creighton
Watch live streaming of the ITTF World Championships, which run until 15 May, at www.ittf.com
British number one Paul Drinkhall assesses China's dominance
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