INTRODUCTION While the 34th World Table Tennis Championships are being staged in the English city of Birmingham, visitors can see the latest developments in the sport in a special sports and leisure exhibition.
TV Table tennis championships in progress
SV Peter Hurst playing against robot player (6 shots)
CU Chinese national team player Wang Tsien-Chang
SV Portrait of Mao Tse Tung holding table tennis bat ZOOM OUT TO Kuo-Yao Hua shaking hands with another player and playing at table in demonstration (2 shots)
CU Chinese lanterns and spectators
CU Wang Tsien-Chang in play and under pressure against policemen in uniform (4 shots)
SPORT: TABLE TENNIS
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Background: INTRODUCTION While the 34th World Table Tennis Championships are being staged in the English city of Birmingham, visitors can see the latest developments in the sport in a special sports and leisure exhibition.
SYNOPSIS: The championships and the exhibition are being staged at the National Exhibition Centre. One of the major attractions at the exhibition is a table tennis robot. Here, Britain's national coach of the Table Tennis Association, Peter Hurst, pits his skill against the machine. The STIGA robot can produce thousands of different strokes. To make shot selection easy there is a ready-reckoner giving all the basic strokes. Both the ball speed and the number of serves per minute can be varied. The robot's secret is a ball ejector, comprising of two contra-rotating discs driven by independent motors. The serves can come at up to 90 kilometres (56 miles) an hour.
Wang Tsien-Chang is one of China's national team players. Along with others from his team, he is furthering ping pong diplomacy which was one of the political icebreakers between China and the western world. The Chinese have a special stand at the Stand at the Sportacus exhibition. Included in the stand is a table tennis table where members of the public can try their luck against a Chinese table tennis champion.
Here Kuo-Yao Hua competes with a local player. The public don't have too much chance of winning with the Chinese team proving their ability by beating most other countries in the championships in the adjoining halls.
Wang Tsien-Chang's form even enticed a British policeman to try his luck. The Birmingham "bobby" didn't fare too badly considering his opponent later went on to beat the British champion in a team event.