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  • Match Point    April 30 
Photos: When a world championship is on the line, table tennis gets pretty intense

The last time you played a game of table tennis was probably in a basement or garage at a friend's house. And chances are good the atmosphere surrounding your match did not look like this:

Japan celebrates a win over France. | (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

That's exactly what competitors at this week's World Team Table Tennis Championships are experiencing, though. Hailing from 125 national associations, 220 teams are facing off in Tokyo, Japan. The championships promised "shocks, surprises and breathtaking moments," according to the International Table Tennis Federation's website.

Below, images of competitors who take their table tennis a bit more seriously than most. --Sarah Eberspacher

Jiao Li of the Netherlands. | (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Timo Boll of Germany. | (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Robert Gardos of Austria. | (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

 
 
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