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Olympic Table Tennis Guide

THE S TIMES HISTORY ONE TO WATCH BRITISH HOPE VENUE Guide to the Games 20 Originally called "whitf waft", the sport originated as a 19th-century aristocratic after-dinner garme, China has dominated the sport since its introduction to the Games in Seoul in 1988, winning 20 of the 24 golds awarded Ding Ning (China) Andrew Baggaley ExCel The workd's loading player, she won the women's singles titles at both the World Cup and Workd Championships in 2011 The 29 yar akd is the highest-ranked player in the Great Britain team. He is three-times English singles champion The 10,000-capacity arena is the largest competition venue at the Games with five areas each hosting a different sport TABLE TENNIS and has won five Commonwealth Games medals July 28-Aug 8 MOST MEDALS 1st China COMPETITORS: 172 2nd South Korea 3rd Swedon Great Britain MEDAL EVENTS: 4 20 13 ) 8 3 )2 12 HOW IT WORKS Since Beijing 2008, there Bat Each play starts with a serve, Pirmpled surface are two team events as well as Named rackets in Olympic competition, they can be any size, shape or weight. The blade, the core of the racket, must be at least 85 per cent by thickness natural wood. The rubber coverings over the blade (between 2mm and 4mm thick) are black on one side, red on the other, so opponents can tell which side is being used. The different surfaces used can affect how the bell travels the singles events. where the ball must bounce on each side of the net and that alternates after All the events imvolve a knockout competition and each country is alowed to enter three athletes of each sex, with a maximum of two in each singles event. Singles matches are the best of seven games, Team contests, which consist of four singles matches and a doubles match, are the best of five. every two points 85% wood 76cm Smooth side 525m The first competitor to reach 11 points and be two points ahead wins the game. Table Ball If after ten minutes the game is unfinished and both players have fewer than nine points, the "expedite" rule comes into play, whereby service alternates after every point and if a receiver makes 13 returns in a rally they win a point. Surface is not less than 20mm thick and is made of blue or green Masonite wood The dark green nylon net is 15.25cm high, 1.83m wide and sits 15.25cm over each edge of the table. Grips Shakehands, tavoured by European players International Table Tennis Federation balls are holow, made of celluloid, 40mm in diameter and weigh 2.7 grams. They are white or yellow, depending on the colour of the table's surface. Their average speed is 25mph - they can travel the length of a table in a quarter of a second – and can reach ACTN S up to 70mph Doubles matches are the best of tive games Single matches are the best of Penholder, favoured by Asian players seven games Points are scored when an opponent: Fails to return a ball correctly Hits the ball "out" Obstructs the ball Touches the table with their free hand Next week: Tackwondo

Olympic Table Tennis Guide

shared by Bayley on Aug 07
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One of a series of full page graphics that ran in The Times Newspaper in the run-up to the Olympic games


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