Ping-Pong? Child’s Game. Table Tennis?
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Ping-Pong? Child’s Game. Table Tennis? That’s a 16-Year-Old’s Ticket to Rio

Ping-Pong? Child’s Game. Table Tennis? That’s a 16-Year-Old’s Ticket to Rio.

The New York Times features an article on Kanak Jha:

“Ping-Pong? Child’s Game. Table Tennis? That’s a 16-Year-Old’s Ticket to Rio.”
by Sam Borden
July 15, 2017

HALMSTAD, Sweden — Kanak Jha is not sure when he made the change. He thinks it was maybe when he was 9 or 10. He does not remember the precise moment, but he knows it was significant all the same.

“I think it was sort of all of a sudden,” he said recently. “I just started doing it. I said, ‘table tennis’ instead of ‘Ping-Pong.’”

He paused. “I guess because that’s what I was playing.”

The distinction may seem to be only semantics. But the difference between Ping-Pong (a game largely associated with basements, fraternity houses and rec centers) and table tennis (a sport with more than 200 national associations worldwide) is substantial. If it were not, Jha would not have moved here, about 5,500 miles from his Northern California home, to train five or six hours a day with some of the best coaches in the world in preparation for the Rio Olympics. Read the full article at

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