Table Tennis 07-28-2004 09:15

The exact origin of Table tennis is unknown. It first appeared in England in 1890 as a sport for aristocrats and slowly spread to the general population. The sport was originally named 鈥減ing pong鈥, after the sound the ball makes when it hits the table. Ping pong was used as a commercial name by the J. Jaques & Son Ltd. company. In 1936, the term 鈥減ing pong鈥 was replaced by the term "Table Tennis", during the Prague Convention.


Table Tennis is an individual sport, which includes both individual and team events. Depending on gender, Table Tennis has singles, doubles, mixed doubles and team disciplines.

In the Olympic Games, Table Tennis includes four disciplines: men鈥檚 singles, women鈥檚 singles, men鈥檚 doubles and women鈥檚 doubles.

According to the game structure of the Olympic Tournament, athletes will compete against each other according to the knockout system. Each match consists of seven sets maximum. The athlete who wins four sets first is the game鈥檚 winner.

ATHENS 2004 Table Tennis

Table Tennis at the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games will be hosted at the Galatsi Olympic Hall from 14 to 23 August. The Olympic Tournament鈥檚 finals will be held from 20 to 23 August.


The first clubs were founded during the twenties and the sport rapidly gained popularity around the world. The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) was founded in 1926 during the 1st World Championship. Winners of that Championship where two Hungarians: Roland Jacobi at both men鈥檚 singles and doubles, and Maria Mednvansky at women鈥檚 singles and doubles games.

Japanese players dominated the sport in the 1950s. They introduced a new way of holding the racket, which was later adapted by the Chinese, who became the absolute masters of the sport until the mid-1980s. From the end of the 1980s and until the beginning of the 1990s, the Swedish team held centre stage, beating China in three consecutive World Championships (1989, 1991, 1993). Nevertheless, China made a comeback in the last two World Championships (1999, 2001), regaining the first place in the World Ranking.

In recent years, Table Tennis has made great progress. The regulations have evolved in an effort to make the sport more attractive and more popular to the public. When the sport was added into the 1988 Olympic Games Programme, in Seoul, Table Tennis started to acquire a mass character. It is currently considered one of the most popular sports in the world in terms of participation numbers, with more than 187 National Federations being members of ITTF. Clearly, from the player鈥檚 point of view, the style of the sport has been transformed. Modern table tennis is now based on speed and strength and new strikes require excellent technical know-how.

Table Tennis began growing in Greece during the 1930s, under the auspices of the Hellenic Association of Amateur Athletics (SEGAS). The first official Championship was held in 1940 under SEGAS and the winner was Nikos Mantzaroglou in men鈥檚 singles and in men鈥檚 doubles, with Pavlos Ioannidis as his partner.

From 1926 to 1943, unofficial Pan-Hellenic Championships and friendly tournaments were held, with Nikos Matzaroglou playing a leading role. He won 3rd place at the Budapest World Championship in 1931, representing Germany, since Greece was not a member of the International Federation at that time.

The Hellenic Tennis Federation decided to establish a Table Tennis subsidiary on March 20, 1949, and on November 23, 1956, the first charter of the subsidiary - the Hellenic Table Tennis Federation 鈥 was approved.

In recent years, Greek athletes have managed significant performances in Table Tennis. In 1991, the Greek team, which consisted of Kalinikos Kreanga and Otilia Vadeskou from Rumania, were placed third in the mixed doubles, winning the bronze medal in the World Championship held in Japan.

In 1996, Greece participated for the first time in the Olympic Games in Atlanta and one year later, in 1997, the national men鈥檚 team placed sixth in the World Championship. The same year, Kreanga won the first place in the men鈥檚 singles in the Mediterranean Games of Italy and in 1994 he won the gold medal in men鈥檚 doubles. In the European Championship in 1998, he won the silver medal in the men鈥檚 doubles event, playing with the Serbian Lupulesco, and was ranked fifth in the men鈥檚 single event.

Other significant achievements by Greek athletes were the qualification of Tsiokas in the Sydney Olympic Games, the ninth place won by the national men鈥檚 team in the World Championship of Osaka in 2001, and finally, the silver medal won by Kalinikos Kreanga in the 2002 European Championship.

Source:The official website of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Editor:Wang  Source:

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