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Table Tennis History

New Zealand table tennis player Shane Laugesen

New Zealand table tennis player Shane Laugesen.

Table Tennis made its debut at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, including an EAD event, Women's Open Wheelchair Singles. It was introduced to the Summer Olympics in 1988/

Players use rubber-coated wood and carbon-fibre racquets, with a variety of rubber compounds and glues available to impart greater spin or speed, and they can hit the ball at up to 160km/h.

In Previous Games
Singapore and England snared three gold medals each and New Zealand and Nigeria shared the other two at Manchester 2002.

As well as gold medals in the Women's Team, Women's Doubles and Mixed Doubles, Singapore collected one silver and seven bronze medals.

England's golds came in Men's Team, Men's Doubles and Women's EAD Singles, while the Singles champions were New Zealand's Chunli LI in Women's and Nigeria's Segun Moses TORIOLA in Men's.

With bronze medals awarded to both losing semi-finalists, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Wales and India also shared in the medals.

At Melbourne 2006
The Table Tennis competition will take place across 11 days at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre (SAC), with eight gold medals on offer.

A full programme of Men's and Women's Teams, Men's and Women's Singles, Men's and Women's Doubles, Mixed Doubles and EAD is rarely (if ever) seen elsewhere.

The Men's Singles event will probably have the most entries (around 120) for a single event at the Games.

Singles and Doubles events will involve a knockout draw, with the best players progressing to the gold medal match, whereas the team competition will have each competing nation play a round-robin format before the best teams contest the medal rounds, with all competition in accordance with the rules of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

What's New
Melbourne 2006 organisers will be encouraging lots of audience participation and noise which, while usual overseas, is new for Australian fans.

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