Japan's Naomi Yotsumoto adds some cosplay to her gameplay
Things are heating up around the table tennis table! Rocked by the attention "sexy" sports like women's beach volleyball got at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, staid sports such as table tennis are paddling like mad to keep up.
Adored by devoted fans in mainly Asian countries, table tennis has its superstars both male and female - yet neither sex looks very sexy clad in baggy shirts and shorts. All that may change soon, thanks to a concerted push by not only the players, but the governing bigwigs at the International Table Tennis Federation.
Commenting on the issue, ITTF vice-president Claude Bergeret stated "We are trying to push the players to use skirts and also nicer shirts, not the shirts that are made for men, but ones with more curves."
Ai Fukuhara skirts - or "skorts" - the issue
Ping pong princess Ai Fukuhara of Japan couldn't agree more, attracting admiring stares with the outfit she wore in several Round-of-16 matches last week in Beijing: a "skort", which is a tight skirt worn over cycling shorts.
If current trends continue, Fukuhara and other star players will be modeling new looks around the table tennis table, much like the ones displayed last year at the World Cup Table Tennis of Women 2007 in Chengdu, China.
The sleek & sexy ensembles were designed by Chinese fashion trendsetter Lu Kun and combine practicality with pure good looks.
"Although the skirts are just a small part of the changes," sums up ITTF Asia Office Director Steve Daiton, "they may spark a revolution by changing the image of table tennis." In other words, up the freak WITH a paddle! (via AFP, images c/o Life of Guangzhou and Imprinttalk)