Olympic table tennis players are fuming over 'very bad' balls

Table tennis players at the Rio Olympic Games have expressed their frustration with the low quality of the balls used in competition.
(Image credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Olympic table tennis players are fed up. The white balls used in their matches are cracking, crumpling, and breaking. They don't bounce right. They're unpredictable. And they are slightly bigger than the balls used at the London Olympics, meaning they spin less — and less spin gives power hitters an unfair advantage over players that rely on spin.

"I think this ball is very bad," Li Ping of Qatar said after losing a match, although don't call him a sore loser; his opponent, Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany, agreed. The ball "makes it almost impossible to compete," he said.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us