Photos of Olympic athletes staring at table tennis balls are gorgeous and strangely hypnotic

The Olympics offers us a glimpse at many incredible sports and athletes that we don’t see too often, including the fascinating world of table tennis.

Table tennis is one of the fastest sports in Rio with competitors often needing to stand 15-20 feet behind the table to have enough time to react to a ball travelling at speeds that make it difficult for viewers to follow.

It is that speed that make the Getty photographs below so fascinating. The photographers have taken an incredibly fast sport and captured hypnotic images that not only appear to suspend the sport in time, but give a sense of just how intense the focus of the athletes can be.

Timothy Wang of Team USA.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Yue Wu of the United States.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Sharath Kamal Achanta of India.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Jung Young-sik of Republic of Korea.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Melissa Tapper of Australia .

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Fu Yu of Portugal.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Zengyi Wang of Poland .

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Brian Afanador of Puerto Rico.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Paul Drinkhall of Great Britain.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Tianwei Feng of Singapore.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Li Xiaoxia of China.

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

I Song Kim of Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Jun Mizutani of Japan.

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Quadri Aruna of Nigeria.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Shiwen Liu of China.

Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Xu Xin of China.

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Timo Boll of Germany.

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Joo Saehyuk of South Korea.

Lars Baron/Getty Images
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Now check out the gorgeous photos from Simon Biles' all-around gold medal performance.

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