Hiroji Satoh and the first sponge rubber 1952





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Published on Jul 19, 2008

1950's - 1970's - Sponge Bat Era, Rise of Japan and China

1952 - Hiroji Satoh of Japan becomes notorious for his use of a wooden racket covered in thick foam sponge rubber, which produces much more speed and spin than conventional pimpled rubber rackets. He wins the 1952 World Championships over Jozsef Koczian of Hungary, and begins a period of Asian male domination in the sport which will last until Sweden rises to supremacy from 1989 into the early 1990's.

1957 - The World Championships changes to a biennial event (once every two years), due to the logistics of hosting an event of such size, and difficulty in finding suitable venues.

1958 - The first European Championships is conducted in Budapest, Hungary, and sees the USSR's debut in international table tennis.

1959-1960 - The ITTF standardizes the thickness of ordinary pimpled rubber and sponge rubber.

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