Professional table tennis players Li Jie and Hitomi Sato squared off at the 2017 Seamaster World Tour in Qatar this week, and their match set a world-record for the longest rally, lasting 10 minutes and 766 shots. According to SB Nation, both Jie and Sato “approach the game from a defensive standpoint. Each player prefers to counterattack, rather than push the tempo themselves.” Unfortunately, the rally ended in the least satisfying way possible as a second ball was accidentally dropped into the playing area, and thus halting the point.
As a result of this bizarre, time-consuming volley, officials implemented an “Expedite System” for the remainder of the match. This is a rule that forces players to win a point after 13 shots or the point is automatically awarded to the receiver.
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