Table Tennis: Which Country Loves It The Most?

Posted by Scott 10 JULY 2015

Table tennis is a sport appreciated worldwide and on every continent (surely those scientists in Antarctica play a little ping pong around the office on a cold day!). In fact, it is the most popular racquet sport of all time, even beating out regular tennis and badminton, yes the table tennis table comes first. The key to its success is its accessibility—young and old alike can pick up a paddle and play; even play against one another. What other sport pits an adolescent against a 70-year-old and calls it a fair game? Table tennis has that edge over other sports. In addition, it is convenient to play (indoors or outdoors, rain or shine), and players have an extremely low risk of injury while playing.

In summary, it’s the perfect game for casual and professional players alike.

So which countries are the most passionate about this spectacular sport? Home Leisure Direct has the answer for you. And who knows? This info just might be vital to helping you pick your next vacation spot or plan out that table tennis world tour that you’ve been dreaming about for years.


china table tennis.jpg

Everyone knows that China is the number one fan of table tennis. It’s no wonder—China’s ping pong players have dominated the world championship competitions for almost half a century now. At both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, China won all of the gold medals in the sport. That is an impressive feat! Just as impressive is China’s history with table tennis. Have you ever heard of the “Ping Pong Diplomacy” event of 1972? This agreement to exchange table tennis players between the United States and China was one of the first steps toward better diplomatic relations between the two countries. Yes, table tennis was a major contributor to opening up China’s social borders to the rest of the world! That’s a very good reason for a billion people to be passionate about a sport.

Deng Yaping is regarded as one of the best table tennis players of all time. She was born just one year after the Ping Pong Diplomacy act, started playing when she was five, and has since won the most titles of any ping pong player. The people of China were so proud of her achievements that they voted her as “Chinese female athlete of the century.” What an honor!


south korea table tennis.jpeg

China isn’t the only Asian country crazy about table tennis. South Korea hopes to become number 1 in the world when it comes to winning ping pong matches, but China’s shadow is a big one. South Korea isn’t discouraged, however; it has the drive to work even harder to train the very best competitors in the sport.

Joo Se Hyuk is one of the top-ranked professional players in the world. He is well aware of South Korea’s uphill struggle to beat China in the sport. He is the last of South Korea’s dream team— Ryu Seungmin, Yoo Namkyu, and Oh Sangeun have all retired from table tennis already—leaving Joo as the lone veteran in South Korea’s new generation of ping pong players. Joo has a deep respect for the discipline and training that he sees in Chinese players, but that just makes him want that gold medal even more.  


table tennis germany.jpg

It seems that when a country discovers that it has a star athlete, its population suddenly becomes obsessed with both the star and his sport of choice. That is definitely true in the case of Jorg Rosskopf and Steffen Fetzner, a doubles team who won the World Championship for Germany in 1989. Since then, table tennis in Germany has continued to grow in popularity. One of its greatest moments was when the world-renowned Borussia Dortmund sports club set up a department for table tennis in 2004.

Timo Boll is one of the latest German stars. At one time, he was ranked number 1 in the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation). Now he is currently ranked second in the German Table Tennis National League. Since 1995, when he won three gold medals as one of the youngest members of the national league (he was 14!), Timo has had success after success in table tennis, and the people of Germany love him for it. 


sweden table tennis.jpg

The final entry on our list of countries most passionate about ping pong is Sweden. It has played a major part in professional table tennis since the mid 80s, and its passion for the sport goes even further back. Sweden is home to the global table tennis company STIGA, which has provided top quality equipment for more than a hundred countries worldwide. Like South Korea, Sweden struggles to topple China’s dominance in every World Championship, so when Swedish players do manage to beat China, how sweet that victory is!  

Jan-Ove Waldner has found himself in a similar situation to Joo Se Hyuk of South Korea. He is the last of Sweden’s legacy of top players from the 80s and 90s. He started playing professionally in the European Championship as a 16-year-old in 1982. Since then, he has become a well-known master of table tennis. In the West, he is “the Mozart of table tennis,” but the people of China know him as “the evergreen tree.” Hopefully, Sweden’s love of the sport and contribution to the professional game won’t cease once Waldner retires after a long and accomplished career in table tennis.

Though we have spotlighted these particular countries, they are far from being the only places on our planet that get excited about the ping pong ball. If you are into table tennis, then it’s time for you to go out there to meet new people and play ping pong in exotic places. For ping pong players, neither cultural nor language barriers can stand in the way of making new friends across a table with a net.

We here at Home Leisure Direct are proud to be providing equipment and news on table tennis to the billions of fans out there. We hope the passion for this sport only continues to grow across the face of planet Earth.

Read: The 29 Crazy Health Benefits of Table Tennis

Sign Up To Our VIP Newsletter! Get access to exclusive information, freebies, discounts, gaming guides & much more
Join We would love to update you with exclusive offers, new products and inspiration for having serious fun - and we'll always treat your data with the respect it deserves.