The evergreen Paul Pinkewich (Photo: Warren Woolcock)
by Ian Marshall, Editor
Searching for no less than his 59th Australian title, the host nation’s Paul Pinkewich is the leading name on duty at the forthcoming 2016 RBK Mothernest Australian Open Veteran Championships to be staged from Friday 14th October to Saturday 20th October.
Home for what is the 33rd edition of the tournament is the Sydney Olympic Park.
Crowned Australian national champion on no less than 13 occasions, during an illustrious career he represented Australia on no less than 287 occasions. He made his debut at the World Championships in Stockholm in 1967, the swansong being in New Delhi two decades later in 1987.
Additionally, he won the men’s singles title at the Oceania Championships in Auckland in 1978 and in Sydney in 1982. Furthermore, as a direct result of his continental successes he was on duty at the first four Men’s World Cup tournaments.
He competed in the inaugural event in Hong Kong in 1980 and was present in the ensuing years in Kuala Lumpur, once again in Hong Kong as well as in 1983 in Barbados.
Notably he played in his first World Veteran Championships in Lucerne in 2002; he is a life member of Table Tennis Australia and a member of the Hall of Fame.
A notable name but Paul Pinkevich is not alone; also on duty in Sydney will be the host nation’s Dennis Makaling, Buddy Reid, Craig Campbell and Mick Wright.
Dennis Makaling competed in four consecutive World Championships, commencing in Dortmund in 1989; arguably his greatest success being in 1993 when he won the men’s singles title at the Oceania Championships.
Impressively, he was Australia’s top ranked player during the 1990s and has 20 national titles to his credit.
Meanwhile, Buddy Reid, Craig Campbell and Mick Wright may not have quite such an illustrious past but all were medallists at the recent 2016 World Veteran Championships in the Spanish resort of Alicante.
Buddy Reid won the men’s singles 75 to 79 years title; Craig Campbell was the runner up in men’s singles 60 to 64 years, Mick Wright emerged as bronze medallist in men’s singles 70 to 74 years.