The 2014 Commonwealth Games were held in Glasgow from July 23 to August 3 with 71 nations competing in 18 different sports, table tennis among them. If you’ve never watched table tennis before, then you might be forgiven for thinking that it’s not particularly exciting. Think again.

Table tennis, or ping-pong (or whiff-whaff if you’re Boris Johnson), has been an Olympic sport since 1988, and has been approved for the Commonwealth Games since 2002. If you think about it, it’s quite an appropriate sport for the Commonwealth Games considering its origin as a British parlour game, possibly first created by British military officers in India or South Africa.

This amazing men’s singles table tennis match was between Nigeria’s Segun Toriola and Singapore’s Ning Gao. Both are ranked as the top player in their home countries, so this third round match was bound to be a tense and exciting one.

The ball flies across the table almost too fast to see, and Toriola pulls off some incredible lunges as they go for an unbelievable 41-shot rally. The Nigerian player is on the defensive while the Chinese player returns surely and confidently, until he eventually hits the ball long, no doubt frustrated by how much time it’s taking to finish his opponent. Watch the video below to see a clip of the action and check out the screenshots, which were pretty difficult to capture given how fast everything was moving.

Gao ultimately won the match 4-0, and went on to the finals only to lose to fellow Singaporean Jian Zhan. However, despite losing the match overall, it was Toriolo’s epic stamina in this rally that really got the crowds going, and showed just how exhilarating ping-pong can be.

▼ Gao serves.



▼ Toriolo finds himself in a defensive position, lunging left and right.



▼ Gao begins to get frustrated at his opponent’s tenacity.


▼ The moment Toriola wins the point.


Source: Commonwealth Games on YouTube, Commonwealth Games Official Site