Cyclist and table tennis player, Val Langehegermann (Photo: courtesy of Val Langehegermann)
by Gloria Wagener
Born on Friday 26th February 1937; Luxembourg’s Valentin Langehegermann, not only a table tennis player of renown, also a cyclist on the international stage, recently celebrated his 80th Birthday.
Alongside wife Kathy, some 60 friends and relatives attended the very special celebration at the Merterter Culture Centre.
A former civil servant, always known as Val; as a young man he grew up in competitive surroundings; father was a racing driver.
Times have changed but in the era of Val Langehegermann, table tennis was very much a winter sport, cycling a summer sport; thus he was able to combine both disciplines.
The period 1964 to 1972 were the peak years of his cycling career; his international table tennis career starting in 1962 at the European Championships in Berlin, the year the wall that divided the city was completed.
Later Val Langehegermann competed in the European Championships in Malmö 1964 as well as in Moscow in 1984; additionally he was on duty at the World Championships in Prague in 1963 and well as two decades later in 1983 in Tokyo.
Physical training was also high on the agenda; thus enabling him to keep free from injury. Furthermore, some peculiarly, being a tactician, on old wooden rackets he recorded the tactics to use against his most important opponents.
Val is and was a globetrotter, as some of his greatest successes were at Veteran World and European Championships; to describe his collection of medals, trophies, certificates and souvenirs as impressive, is an understatement.
Regionally, he has represented eight Luxembourg clubs, Manom in France as well as four German clubs.
In Trier, he played for the TTC Yellow-Red, and to this day he is regularly on duty for TTC Grün-Weis Zewen. Also, as a coach for DT Gonderingen, he was involved in the development and promotion of junior talent from 2003-2015.
A member of several national sports committees, Val Langehegermann has been a member of the Swaythling Club International for many years and he still combines both cycling and table tennis.
He is already looking forward to a cycling tour of the Alps this year in May and to competing in World Veteran Table Tennis Championships next year; a very versatile sportsman!