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In Ping Pong: The Animation, Wenge is a Chinese exchange student who came to Japan to work his way back up to the Chinese national team (he hopes to win nationals, etc.).

However, what got him kicked off the Chinese national team to begin with? Is this ever discussed?

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Based on almost all of his character introductions in Japanese (e.g. Japanese Wikipedia), Kong Wenge was previously an elite player from Shanghai Junior Youth team, but lost. Another source (Miho Cinema - a Japanese movie review site) even mentioned that he failed to reach the top in China.

According to Quora, this seems to be true even in real-life.

  • As for professional athletes, a medal brings about reputation and advertising incomes. Competition is their career. So if an athlete doesn't perform well, he/she will be out of the sight of people and has problems earning a living.

  • [...] in a collectivist culture like China, failure in itself is a terrible punishment- wrought from within, and implicitly from the rest of society. You have failed your parents, your family, your community, your heritage- the money, time, effort and goodwill that has been invested in you. You have let everyone down. Hang your head in shame.

  • Only in the sense they might be cut from the team, at which point they find themselves without a purpose and largely unemployable in one of the world's most competitive job markets.

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