250 of the world's best in Round Rock for collegiate table tennis championships

Over 250 athletes, representing over 50 countries, and 40 schools spent the last three days in Round Rock competing in the sports pinnacle event.

"This is one of the best tournaments in collegiate table tennis in the world," Jasna Rather said.
"This event would be like the Olympics for college students," Tim Wang said.

Some of the world's best table tennis players and teams have spent the past year fighting to be a part of the 2016 T.M.S College Table Tennis Championships

"They're playing for hardware, they're playing for trophies essentially but they're playing for the intangible bragging rights," Willy Leparulo, President of the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association, said.

Of the 40 schools competing, a half dozen are from Texas including the powerhouse Texas Wesleyan. Who are described throughout the table tennis world as "the New York Yankees of the sport.

"Our team has won 11 consecutive championships." Jasna Rather, head coach of Texas Wesleyan said, "Last year we lost. We were one point away from winning a 12th consecutive title."

For the Texas schools, the weekend was a chance to not only take down a national power but to win in front of their home crowd. University of Texas player Tim Wang, a junior electrical engineering major, said he is especially happy to be playing in front of his family and friends. Not only for the boost it gives him but for the chance to break a common myth.

 

 

"A lot people think that table tennis is just a form of entertainment, just like pool. But if you've seen how ping pong is actually played it's probably the fastest sport on earth," he said.

It's also one of the most underestimated skill sports in the world and with each competition players like Wang are showing why this "form of entertainment"  is really a sport.

"When I talk about ping pong people usually say 'it's just ping pong come on, how hard could that be?' But after seeing how I play and how competitive the atmosphere is everybody was like 'wow, this is a sport,'" he said.

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