Ping Pong

PBS Premiere: Sept. 9, 2013Check the broadcast schedule »

In Context1

The sport of table tennis originated in Britain in the 1880s. London hosted the first official world championship in 1926. Table tennis has been an Olympic sport since 1988.

The first World Veterans Table Tennis Championships took place in 1982 in Gothenburg, Sweden and they have taken place every two years since then. The competition is supervised by the Swaythling Club International and the International Table Tennis Federation.

Each edition of the competition takes place in a different country. Hosts have included Switzerland, Japan, China and Germany. Ping Pong follows the 2010 competition in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China.

The most recent championships took place in 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden with 3,200 players competing. Events included men's and women's singles and doubles for players in the following age brackets: 40-49, 50-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84 and 85 and older. To be eligible for the competition, a player must simply have reached 40 years of age during the calendar year when the event takes place.

The oldest competitor in 2012 was Kaptarenko Alexandra, from Russia. He was 100 years old.

The 2014 World Veteran Championships will take place in Auckland, New Zealand.

» 16th World Veterans Championships.
» 16th World Veterans Championships. "General Information."
» International Table Tennis Federation. "Timeline of Table Tennis Milestones."
» Paddle Palace. "2012 World Veterans Table Tennis Championships, Stockholm, Sweden"