In the run up to the Olympic Games, each week we'll be presenting the athletes who will have the privilege of competing for Belgium in Paris between 26 July and 11 August 2024. We will present them discipline by discipline... Today, we are talking about those who love sports played with a little white ball, whether table tennis or golf!

Table tennis:

The sport of table tennis was originally derived from classical tennis. It has its origins in the post-dinner period of English high society, when notables traded corks over their tables using cigar-box lids, with books as a net. Table tennis took on its modern form a little later, at the beginning of the 20th century, and more specific equipment was introduced. The first competitions were held in Berlin and London in 1926, and the first-ever World Table Tennis Championships took place in the British capital in the same year.

Today, table tennis is very popular in Asia and particularly in China, with over 40 million licensed players worldwide, making it the most popular sport in the world.

Two Belgian table tennis players will be competing:

             Martin Allegro: born on 29 April 1996 in Boussu, Hainaut, this Belgian table tennis player broke into the world's top 100 for the first time in 2022. In February 2024, he reached his best ever world ranking of 56th. He is also ranked A1 (best player in Belgium) for the 2023-2024 season.

             Cedric Nuytinck: born in Ghent on 6 June 1993, he has won the Belgian individual championship five times. And he won the Champions League with FC Saarbrücken in 2023.



Golf was one of the first modern sports to codify its rules, in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1744. The first women's tournaments took place at the end of the 19th century. Today, there are over 60 million golfers and more than 30,000 golf courses worldwide.

Golf was part of the Olympic programme at the second and third Olympiads, in 1900 and 1904. More than 100 years later, the sport came back to the Olympic Games programme, first in Rio in 2016, then in Tokyo in 2020.

Three Belgian golfers will attempt to excel on the greens of the Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, some 40 kilometres from central Paris:

•             Thomas Detry: born in Brussels on 13 January 1993, this Belgian golfer has been playing on the European Tour since the end of 2016. Before turning professional, he was one of the top ten amateur players. In his first Bridgestone Challenge victory, he broke the record for winning by the biggest margin and equalled the record for the lowest tournament score. He also achieved the finest performance by a Belgian golfer on the American circuit.

             Adrien Dumont de Chassart: born on 1 March 2000, this golfer was just 15 years old when he finished runner-up in the Orange Bowl tournament in Miami, one of the biggest tournaments for players aged 18 and under. In 2019, he was named Belgian Amateur Golfer of the Year. In 2021, he finished third at the European Amateur Championship. In 2021, he was named one of the two Big Ten golfers of the year, and in 2022, he played in the US Open, after taking part in the qualifying tournament in Springfield, Ohio.

•             Manon De Roey (born 12 December 1991) is a professional golfer from Belgium who plays on the Ladies European Tour. In 2022, she won the Aramco Team Series – Bangkok individual title.

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