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  Olympic sports
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Table tennis Table tennis
One of the fastest moving of the Olympic sports, and dominated by players from Asia.

The sport's rules have been changed a bit recently to try and make it a bit easier to watch for spectators.

It's played as both doubles and singles and is a fascinating sight when players are driven further and further from the table, but still manage to keep the ball in play.

The first player to win three sets wins a match, and they need 11 points to win a set.

If scores are tied at 10 each then they keep going until one player has a two-point lead.

In doubles the players must hit the ball in turn.

For example, the server serves to the receiver who returns the ball. The server's team-mate must hit it next, followed by the receiver's team-mate.

If either team breaks the order they lose the point.

There is a strange rule called the "expedite" system that is supposed to speed up the game.

If a set has not finished after 10 minutes the umpire stops the game.

From then on, if a returner hits the ball back 13 times they win a point, if they don't the server wins the point.

Who are the British hopes for Athens?
There aren't many hopes for the Games with only one British player in the world's top 100, Matthew Syed.

Who are the big names?
Pretty much anyone representing China.

In the four Olympics since the sport was introduced, Chinese players have won 26 medals, 13 of them gold.


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