The 28th edition of the modern Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janereio from August 5 to 21. Since it first began in Athens in 1896, the Games have seen exponential growth with rise in the number of participating nations and number of athletes. The Games are being hosted in a South American city for the first time. The 2016 Games will see players competing in 41 disciplines from 28 sports. A total of 306 medals are on stake and more than 10, 500 players are participating. The sports at the Games vary from water to track and field and filed events. Each game has a different set of rules and different ways to win a medal. We bring to you a breakdown of each sport.
Sports basics: Table Tennis is played between two players or four players. The sport demands quick reactions from the playing members as they use a small paddle to move a soft ball across the table. The play is generally fast between the players who often use their skills to spin the ball and apply right kind of trajectory in order to push the ball on the side of their opponent. The hard table is demarcated by a net. The game was previously known as ping-pong. The International Table Tennis Federation, which was founded in 1926, governs the sport.
History: The game developed over the time in the 20th Century, in the 1860s and 1870s, when British Military was stationed in India. The game’s origin could be traced back to ‘Victorian England’ which was generally considered as an after dinner game. As the game began to develop, Britain came out with the Table Tennis Association which was founded in 1921. Soon the first tournament was conducted in 1926 under the governing body of International Table Tennis Federation. Eventually other federations were formed to take the sport overseas.
Scoring format: Players allow the ball, passed by the opponent, to bounce on their side of the table just once and return to the other side so that it bounces on their rival’s side too. Points are scored when the opponent fails to return the ball. The game requires quick skills. Spinning ball helps gain advantage. There are number of occasions on which a player could gain a point. If the opponent strikes the ball twice, one point is scored. Creating obstructions on the table, or placing hands on the turf will lead to points too.
Categories: The game has two categories. One is the Single’s game and other one is the team event, known as the double’s game. The team event was included in the 2008 Olympics.
Indian contender(s): Achanta Sharath Kamal, Manika Batra, Soumyajit Ghosh, and Mouma Das will represent India at Rio 2016 Olympics.