Olympic spots at stake at table tennis qualifier



CARY, N.C. (AP) — Olympic spots are at stake for some of the continent’s top table tennis players at this weekend’s North American Qualifier.

They also see it as another chance to help raise the profile of what’s largely considered a niche sport.

Adam Hugh is one of the four men who advanced from the U.S. Olympic trials in February and returned to Cary for the continental qualifier. He says for the sport to grow, it must capture the attention of the younger players — and says developing the players’ personalities is a good way to do that.

Two-time Olympian and current broadcaster Sean O’Neil says table tennis is “definitely on an upward trend” because celebrities like Susan Sarandon have picked up the game and “made it kind of cool to play pingpong.”