Marta Nykl (left) and Dr Chandra Madosingh (right) in Vancouver(Photo: courtesy of Dr Chandra Madosingh)
by Ian Marshall, ITTF Editor
Vancouver, the magnificently located city on the west coast of Canada, emerged as the highly successful home for the inaugural 2016 Americas Masters Games.
Staged from Friday 26th August to Sunday 4th September, sporting venues throughout the Greater Vancouver area were used with the table tennis events being held at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Over 10,000 athletes from 52 countries participated in the ten day event.
“For table tennis, the age groups were divided from 35 to over 75 years categories. They registered from seven different countries. We followed Americas Masters Games policy and the ITTF laws were in effect. Ten Double Fish 45B tables were used and we had sky blue floor covering while climate control was in progress. All players were drawn into round robin groups and some advanced to Stage Two. Luckily, we had no injuries or health complaints. Several interesting matches held the attention of the spectators”, Dr. Chandra Madhosingh, Tournament Referee
One of the most notable players on duty at 2016 Americas Masters Games was Marta Nykl.
Born in the Czech Republic, she played table tennis in Prague from 1949 to 1951; her maiden name being Marta Svobodova, later Marta Junkova.
She enjoyed success but in those days, there were restrictions on the country that was known as Czechoslovakia. Later in 1968 she emigrated to Canada and since 1999 she has competed in senior, veteran and over 55 years events; she has over 80 medals to her credit, the majority are gold.
“Table tennis is a wonderful game. Table Tennis helps us thinking as split second decision we must make, whether to play forehand or backhand or what spin to undertake. Table tennis helps us to be courteous and respect our partners in the games, to end with hug or friendly hand shake remind us, no one is seeking fame. My wish to all players: may your ping forever pong.” Marta Nykl
Most recently at the Canada 55+ Games in Brampton, Ontario in August, she won two gold and one silver; later in the month at the Americas Masters Games she claimed two gold medals
Now 80 years old, she practises four or five times each week at two clubs in Vancouver, each practice session being two hours.
The umpires on duty were Eric Chio, Daniel Chung, Ron Hannigan, Anson Lam, Lei Liang, Bernard Lau, John Ross, Tony Shaw, David Su and Nancy Tang; the control desk was administered by Amelia Ho, Tony Xu and Kam Tang.
“We would like to thank the sponsors and the Americas Masters Games for the opportunity to participate in this Inaugural event.” Dr. Chandra Madhosingh