Top Gun: Maverick or Timo Boll? - Butterfly Table Tennis
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Top Gun: Maverick or Timo Boll?

(by Steve Hopkins)

The ITTF Foundation’s Social Media had a fun post today (see below, link here).  The text attached to the graphic was, “Did you know? According to a study by Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany, a table tennis player has better vision than a fighter pilot.  In an eye speed test, the fighter pilot performed as an average person, while Timo Boll obtained impressive results”.

The study that is referenced was actually from 2010, but now that there’s a new Top Gun movie out (Top Gun Maverick), the results (and the fighter pilot comparison, specifically) have renewed interest again.  The test was designed to assess movement perception – how quickly one’s eyes focus and process quick movements.  The mechanism for the test included a large screen where one would focus on a small ring as it was electronically moved – which a machine monitoring the reactions of the subject.

The results showed that a typical fighter pilot’s eyesight reaction speed was 180 (the same as a normal person).  However, a typical hobby table tennis player had eyesight reaction speed that was higher (205), and the speed of an elite table tennis athlete (specifically, Timo Boll) was 330.

Video (in German) outlining the test parameters can be found here.

See the ITTF Foundation Post below.

*For information about the latest installment of the Top Gun franchise click here.

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