Competition at the Highest Levels

Table Tennis

Table Tennis

Athletes from over 100 countries compete in table tennis, one of the most popular Paralympic sports. It was introduced in the first Paralympic Games in 1960, and is a regular sport at the Pan American Games, the European Championships, and other tournaments across the globe.

Table tennis has individual and team events, where the first to score eleven points wins a set. The player or team that wins three out of five sets wins the game. Table tennis is played by wheelchair users as well as standing athletes.

The rules of Olympic table tennis apply to Paralympic table tennis, with quickness, finesse, and strategy as key skills. There are some modifications for wheelchair classes, such as a rule that the serve must bounce off the back of the table, not off the sides, so the athletes can reach the serve.

Top Contenders:
• China won 13 of the 24 gold medals, competing on their home courts in Beijing 2008.
• Talh Leibovitz was the last member of Team USA to medal in table tennis. He won bronze in the Men’s Singles in 2004.

Paralympics 2012 Competition: Singles Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, Teams Sept. 5 – Sept. 8

Athlete Classifications

Athletes with physical or intellectual disabilities compete in table tennis, which is open to all athletes except those with visual disabilities. Athletes are divided into two classes with 5 subdivisions each:

Class Disability

1-5 (sitting)

Athletes who use a wheelchair, with class 1 the most disabled and class 5 the least disabled.

6-10 (standing)

Ambulant athletes, with class 6 the most disabled and class 10 the least.

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