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Road to Chengdu 2021 FISU Games: Speed ??makes table tennis a sport to observe out for

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June 21, 2023 | at the FISU Summer University World Games

Road to Chengdu 2021 FISU Games: Speed ??makes table tennis a sport to watch out for

0707 Table tennis 3

Table tennis has evolved over the last 125 years from parlors in England to its widespread popularity on the world stage. The 2021 FISU World University Games in Chengdu will feature tennis on the program for the ninth time, and the host nation will aim to continue the success it has enjoyed since table tennis first appeared at the 2001 FISU Games.

0711 Table tennis 10Indoor versions of tennis, either as board games, dice games or live games, were developed in the late 19th century.p century in England. In 1890, David Foster patented a version that included side nets, a wooden fence around the perimeter of the table, strung rackets, and a rubber ball covered in fabric. A year later, English game developer Jaques of London introduced a game called “Gossima”, which had a slightly larger cork ball and a 30-cm grid that was connected to the table by a white band. His game later took on a trade name that is still used in some countries, Ping Pong, although officially the sport has long used the name table tennis.

The challenge both Foster and Jaques games had to commercial success was the ball styles they chose. Foster’s rubber ball bounced too much and the cork ball had the opposite problem. It wasn’t until a new celluloid ball was developed in 1900 and used until replaced by plastic in 2014 that the game became more widely successful. However, this popularity was short-lived as the sport died out until the mid-1920s when the International Table Tennis Federation was formed in Berlin, Germany in 1926. Later that year, the first World Championships for men’s and women’s singles, doubles, mixed doubles, as well as the men’s team event were held in London, England. Hungary dominated this first World Cup and was a force in the sport for much of the 1930s.

China became the dominant country in the sport starting in the 1950s and 1960s. Mao played table tennis, and the fact that people of all ages and abilities could play it, and that it didn’t require much equipment or space, made it a sport that was readily accepted in the country. This wide reception led to his dominance at the world championships with his first gold medal in 1959 and a further 89.5 gold medals won by Chinese athletes in singles and doubles.

Table Tennis Mixed Latvia MASLOVS L. vs MAJOROVA V. 02

At the FISU World University Games, table tennis made its debut as an optional sport when Beijing hosted it in 2001. China won all seven gold medals awarded this year, including Wang Yiqin who won the men’s singles title and mixed doubles gold with partner Tie Yan. It has been adopted as a compulsory sport starting with the 2007 FISU Games in Bangkok and the FISU Games since China won 40 gold medals, with Japan and Chinese Taipei far behind in second and third place with six. Prior to its place in the FISU Games from 1971 to 2006, there were 16 FISU World University Table Tennis Championships.

The high-tech Zone Sports Center Gymnasium in Chengdu will host the table tennis competition at the Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games. This great venue also hosted the 2022 World Team Table Tennis Championships. From July 29 to August 5, the FISU Games are held with seven events – women’s and men’s singles, women’s and men’s doubles, mixed doubles, men’s and women’s team competition. You can follow all Chengdu 2021 FISU Games Here.

The following references and articles were used in creating this story: Table Tennis History – A Global Sport • Racket Insight; China’s table tennis supremacy explained • Racket Insight; HistoryofTable Tennis – International Table Tennis Federation (ittf.com); Once a tool of diplomacy, table tennis is now seen as much more by China (nbcnews.com)

Written by Doug McLean

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