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TENNIS, TABLE
This sport was invented in England in the middle of the nineteenth century, and it was the sound of the wooden bats striking the celluloid ball that inspired one Englishman to invent the popular name "ping-pong" for the game.The main rules of the game were made official after the First World War, and an international federation was established in 1926.Table tennis first became part of the Olympic programme at the 1988 games.The game is mainly played in Europe and in Asia, and is often won by Chinese players. At the Barcelona games, for instance, while two Europeans, the Swede Waldner and the Frenchman Gatien went to the finals, Asians won three quarters of all the medals. Gatien and Waldner were again on the podium for the Sydney games of 2000. They were the only Europeans to muscle in on the battle between the Asians, and in particular the Chinese who walked away with all the golds.
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