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Video review of decisions coming to Olympic table tennis

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Video review will be used in table tennis at the Tokyo Olympics for players to challenge umpire decisions. A combination of ball-tracking technology, similar to tennis, and review of slow-motion replays, as in top-level soccer, will be introduced at the Olympic Games and other major events this year, the International Table Tennis Federation said on Tuesday.

“We felt it was important to implement a new technology that will ensure a fair competition for all the athletes, empowering them to challenge any decision made by the umpire,” the governing body’s chief executive, Steve Dainton, said in a statement.

Players will use Table Tennis Review (TTR) to check if the ball touched the net or the table edge, struck a player’s body, or if a service was legal. The system was tested in December at the world tour finals event in Zhengzhou, China. The technology was provided by Chinese firm RigourTech.

“We received very positive feedback from the players and we anticipate a major improvement in terms of the viewers’ experience,” Dainton said. The ITTF aims to cut the time spent “between the player’s call to review and the final decision.”

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