It's Olympic table tennis, not ping pong

7:05 AM, Aug 9, 2012   |    comments
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Lindenwood table tennis players (KSDK)

By Dana Dean

St. Louis (KSDK) -- It was a clean sweep for China, which is leaving London with all four gold medals in table tennis. It's one of only three events team USA has never medaled in.

NewsChannel 5's Dana Dean and Sara Dayley wanted to learn the basics of table tennis, so they met up with members of the Lindenwood University table tennis team to learn the basics and find out why it's actually called table tennis in the Olympics.

Lindenwood won the national women's team title and the men's individual team title at the 2012 College Table Tennis Championships.

According to the coach, ping pong is more of a basement sport. Table tennis requires quick reactions. The coach says ball speeds can get as high as 100 miles per hour. The first player to get to 11 points wins. A match is the best of seven games in the singles events and best of five in the team events.

Lindenwood University Coach Randy Kendle said, "If that ball does not hit the table, than it doesn't do you any good because you still lose the point. So you may be flashy and look really cool, but the hardest part is consistency. You've got to be able, no matter what they do, counteract the spin, and put it back on the table."

Table tennis is China's national sport. China has won 20 of 24 gold medals in table tennis since the sport was introduced to the Olympics in 1988.


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