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May 21, 2007 1:25 AM   Subscribe

It's possibly the most popular (est. 300M participants) individual sport in the world. The 2007 World Championships starts today in Zagreb. (Sports nerds- there's also a scientific conference affiliated with the tournament.) Ma Lin and Wang Liqin and Wang Hao of China are ranked #1 #2 and #4, but #3 Timo Boll of Germany beat all three in a row to win the 2005 World Cup. How do you get to be as good as Timo? Start young, work on fundamentals, and persevere.
posted by MtDewd (17 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Watch it on television in US?....hahahaha-just kidding. Maybe streaming here.
To see previous matches, download from here or here(scroll way down for international)... or buy here or sometimes here.

And it has nothing to do with this previously.
posted by MtDewd at 1:26 AM on May 21, 2007


Wall-to-wall live on Chinese telly! Might be worth looking for CCTV-5 streams online.
I never played at home, but it's so popular here that you can't help but get dragged in (and have your arse handed to you by any passing granny, toddler or amputee in pick-up games) and I've learned to like it a lot. You even get metaphors in the language originating in table tennis, like 打擦边球 ('send over a ball that hits the very edge of the table') meaning something like pushing the edge of what's permissible.
posted by Abiezer at 1:41 AM on May 21, 2007


It's possibly the most popular ... individual sport in the world.

It's not much of an indivudual sport, but it is great fun when played against an opponent. And it is totally awesome when you see it played on this level.
posted by three blind mice at 1:47 AM on May 21, 2007


In a glorious alternate universe, I am this good at ping pong. I like it there.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:46 AM on May 21, 2007


Had a blast with an automated ping pong table in an arcade in Nagoya last night. Intimidating looking cage setup, with a table, sloped floor, and paddle. Put in your 200 yen, mind the sirens, and return serves from a ping pong ball cannon while music blasts from the speakers. It was great.

Dead camera batteries or we would have youtubed it.
posted by dreamsign at 3:15 AM on May 21, 2007


Had a blast with an automated ping pong table in an arcade in Nagoya last night.

Nagoya, eh? So the town's got hitsumabushi, misokatsu and miso nikomi udon, and... automated ping pong. And that's it, right?

(This message brought to you by Tokyoites-look-down-their-noses-at-Nagoya, Ltd.)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:47 AM on May 21, 2007


I was the ping pong champ in high school. Chess champ, too.

Just *killed* with the ladies.
posted by LordSludge at 5:48 AM on May 21, 2007


Holy crap, MtDewd, I had no idea whole matches were available on the Internet these days! Hours and hours of a new form of procrastination... thank you.
posted by sappidus at 6:17 AM on May 21, 2007


sappidus- if you're looking for a good place to start, the Boll-Wang final at the 2005 World Cup is a great match.
Part 1, Part 2. (387Mb)
posted by MtDewd at 6:33 AM on May 21, 2007


If you can find it, it's worth watching a documentary called "Planet Ping Pong".
posted by seanyboy at 7:27 AM on May 21, 2007


I don't like Ping-Pong - but I do like this ... Balls of Fury!!!
posted by homodigitalis at 8:03 AM on May 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


Also: Matrix Ping Pong. Wasn't there even a asian movie about ping pong shaolin soccer-style?
posted by darkripper at 8:09 AM on May 21, 2007


I'm intrigued by those figures. One would think that kickball (aka soccer) is more popular; you need a ball (not in great shape), vaguely level ground and two markers for a goal (shirts, old cans, milk crates, rusting cars, trees, drums of toxic waste, corpses etc.) and that's it. Ping pong requires a FLAT table, bats and a spherical ball, all of which are beyond the means of many of the billions of the worlds poor.

I find it hard to belive that soccer is less popular than ping pong.
posted by lalochezia at 8:26 AM on May 21, 2007


Wasn't there even a asian movie about ping pong shaolin soccer-style?

Yep, from Japan, 2002, featuring Japanese ping-pong prodigies and a Chinese import player:

Ping Pong trailer

Fun movie with some Matrix-y effects and a gently sweet story. Plus good trancey soundtrack.
posted by shortfuse at 8:31 AM on May 21, 2007


Lalochezia:
One thing that makes ping pong popular is its portability. It can be played on any flat surface bigger than the top of a file cabinet. One can even play against a wall when alone. Also the risk of collateral damage is small compared to bigger/heavier balls, which makes it urban-dwelling friendly.
posted by of strange foe at 9:31 AM on May 21, 2007


Somehow I knew this wasn't going to be Chess-Boxing
posted by edgeways at 9:37 AM on May 21, 2007


In other news, Ai-chan in now entering Waseda.

damn I'm getting old.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:05 AM on May 22, 2007


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