Latest Issue

Spin doctors

How sponge rackets changed table tennis forever

Asian players began to dominate table tennis after the introduction of the foam racket in the early 1950s. (© AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Four years ago, I had a routine check-up at the doctor’s and the diagnosis was high blood pressure. Not uncommon in men of my age, but still something that needed attention. Physical exercise was prescribed. What to do?

Apart from skiing, the only sport I’d enjoyed in my youth was ping-pong, so I went along to the nearest club. Clustered around three tables were half a dozen Chinese…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect