Table Tennis in Korea
Table tennis is similar to tennis but is played in miniature with different rules. Table tennis is a game played by two up to four players. The game is played with a lightweight ball hit across a table by using a paddle. The table is hard and has a net that divides it up into 2. The rules of the game are that the ball should be allowed by the players to bounce on either side of the net and then this needs to happen when each player returns the ball to their opponent. If a player fails to return a serve, the other player wins a point. The play is usually very quick and requires fast reaction times. If the ball is spun, the trajectory is altered and the options the opponent has are limited. The hitter then has a great chance of scoring.
Table tennis is regulated by the International Table Tennis Federation which was created in 1926. ITTF currently has 220 affiliate connections. The rules for table tennis are specified in the ITTF handbook explained all the rules and guidelines for professional players. Table tennis is a sport than has been a part of the Olympics since 1988 and this was done in Seoul. The event categories are women’s singles, men’s singles, women’s doubles and men’s doubles. From 2008 team event shave been introduced and played.
Wang Nan who is from China is the Olympic medal all-time leader with 4 gold medals and 1 silver medal under his belt. The most medals won in the men’s competitions are by Wang Liqin, Yoo Nam-Kyu from South Korea and Liu Guoliang. All these men have 4 medals each. Ma Lin who si also from China, has 3 gold medals. There are seven players around the world that have won four medals each and there are six people who have three medals each.
Chen Jing represented China and won her first two medals which happened in the year in 1988. She got her most recent medals in the 1996 and the 2000 Summer Olympics. From the year 1992 whoever wins the women’s singles also wins the doubles/ team event. Examples of this are in 92 and 96 Deng Yaping; in 2000 Wang Nan; and in 04 and 08 Zhang Yining. On the men’s side, Liu Guoliang in 1996 and Ma Lin in 2008 managed to win this as well. Besides Zhang and Deng, there have been no other male or female players to successfully defend the title. However in the doubles, victories were had by Qiao Hong and Deng Yiaping in 1992 and 1996; and Wang Nan with Zhang Yining in 2004 and Li Ju in 2000.
China has the best national Olympic table tennis team with a record of 41 medals. Chinese players won one medal in every event for years. In the 2008 Games China took every single medal in the men’s singles and women’s singles events. Both the teams won the tournament. South Korea has 17 medals and is the 2nd nation to have won more than 3 medals.