Promising junior, successful veteran

Ryan Jenkins, the loyal Welshman (Photo: courtesy of Table Tennis Association of Wales) by Ian Marshall, Editor Once a promising junior; then a successful senior; competing on home soil, Welshman Ryan Jenkins, alongside Denmark’s Pia Toelhoj emerged the most successful players at the 2019 ITTF Veteran World Tour tournament staged at the Cardiff Metropolitan University, on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th December. Both concluded play in the principality’s capital city as the “Champion of Champions”. In a group organised event, Ryan Jenkins, who has represented Wales at every possible level from cadet to veteran and plays a major role in promoting the national association’s fortunes alongside younger brother, Stephen, emerged the men’s singles 40 years winner. He finished ahead of England’s Daryn Dobson-Bailey and India’s

Award for Shunsuke Togami

Representing the finest qualities of sport (Photo: Rémy Gros) by Ian Marshall, Editor Japan’s Shunsuke Togami received the Swaythling Club award on Sunday 1st December at the NSDF World Junior Championships in Korat, Thailand. The citation read “for setting a good example and upholding the best interests of sport”. On the fourth day of play at the semi-final stage of the boys’ team event against China, he had lost by the minimal two point margin in the decisive fifth game of the crucial fifth match against Xiang Peng (13-11, 13-11, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9). On the concluding day of action again he suffered against Xiang Peng; he was beaten at the semi-final stage of the junior boys’ singles event (14-12, 12-10, 13-11, 10-12, 11-9). In both instances

China mourns Xi Enting, world champion

Xi Enting, always in control of his emotions (Photo: courtesy of Table Tennis Legends) by Ian Marshall, Editor Winner of the men’s singles title at the World Championships in 1973, China’s Xi Enting passed away on Sunday 27th October; he was 73 years old. A memorial service, attended by members of the Chinese national team, was held in Beijing on Saturday 2nd November. Born on Tuesday 3rd January 1946 in Tangshan, Hebei Province, he practised at the Baoding Amateur Sports School, entering the Chinese national team when 19 years old. Right handed, adopting the traditional pen-hold grip style of play, short pimpled rubber using one side of the racket only, physically Xi Enting was different to his contemporaries, he was tall and strong. Thus when

Jeff Ingber, one the very earliest junior internationals

One of the last from the hard pimpled rubber bat era (Photo: courtesy of Diane Webb) by Diane Webb Born in 1935 in Manchester, in 1950 Jeff Inger became one of the first ever junior internationals, before gaining his first senior cap against Yugoslavia in 1957 in Norwich, the first of nearly 60 caps. He played in three World Championships just missing out on a medal in 1961 when the England men’s team finished fourth, his best individual result was with Elsie Carrington in the mixed doubles when they reached the last 16 in 1959 and beat the strong United States pair of Dick Miles and Leah Neuberger. Jeff also played in the European Championships and many international matches. In the Home Nations

Oman ready, state-of-the-art venue

The inspection team in Muscat (left to right) Hans Westling, Gordon Kaye, Reto Bazzi, Sajad Al-Lawati, Jordi Serra and Mohammad Atoum (Photo: courtesy of Jordi Serra) by Ian Marshall, Editor The home earlier this year for an ITTF Challenge Series and ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament, Oman will host the 2022 World Veteran Championships; the projected dates are either early March or early May. Venue for the tournament will be the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in the country’s capital city of Oman, a world class facility that has an auditorium which seats 3,200 delegates, over 55 meeting areas plus 22,000 square metres of flooring for competition. Additionally, the JW Marriott five star hotel is linked to the Centre plus the four star Crowne

Bordeaux set to break all records?

Meeting in Las Vegas (left to right) Reto Bazzi, Vincent Labarde, Hans Westling, Benoît Glorieux, Claude Bergeret, Öivind Eriksen, Gloria Wagener (Photo: ITTF) by Ian Marshall, Editor Organised by a national federation experienced in staging major international tournaments, the French city of Bordeaux, a major tourist destination and wine producing region, is the home for the forthcoming 2020 World Veteran Championships; play commences on Monday 8th June and concludes on Sunday 14th June. Is the tournament set to break all records? Entries opened on Friday 1st March; to date over 2,500 players have registered. The goal is 4,600 competitors. In 2006, the city of Bremen set new levels in terms of numbers, as no less than 3,650 entries were received; in 2012 in Stockholm,

New role for Oeivind Eriksen

Oeivind Eriksen, the recently elected President of the Swaythling Club International (Photo: Leon Libin) by Ian Marshall, Editor A familiar face on the international scene but now for Oeivind Eriksen at the 2018 World Veteran Championships in Las Vegas, there is a different role; he is the newly elected President of the Swaythling Club International (SCI), the organisation under who auspices the tournament is organised.At the recent Annual General Meeting of the Swaythling Club International staged on the occasion of the recent Liebherr 2018 World Championships, he succeeded Ebby Schöler who stepped down to become Deputy President. Resident in Hamar Norway, 61 years old, an auditor by profession, Oeivind Eriksen has been involved in table tennis since he was 15 years old, first

Igor Solopov, the stalwart defender

Igor Solopov at the 1996 Estonia Memorial tournament (Photo: Tomas Aring) by Ian Marshall (Editor) It is with great sadness that the death of Estonia’s Igor Solopov is announced. He passed away on Wednesday 12th June, he was 58 years old. Born on Monday 17th April 1961 in Magnitogorsk, a Russian city located in the foothills of the Ural Mountains, his table tennis career started in the country of his birth in 1971, before eventually moving to Tallinn in Estonia. Right handed he became one of Europe’s leading defensive players, progressing to win a host of domestic titles; however it was on the international stage where he made his mark and gained the respect of all. Overall, he competed in seven World Championships, in addition to

Edith Santifaller Outstanding supporter

Edith Santifaller, contribution most valued (Photo: Zefferino Mancini) by Ian Marshall, Editor It is with great sadness that the death of Edith Santifaller is announced, born in Monday 18th July 1932, she was 86 years old. A valued member of the Swaythling Club, it is her exploits in the World Veteran Championships for she became well known internationally. Notably, she competed in no less than 17 editions of the World Veteran Championships, the most recent being in 2014 in Auckland; overall she won 11 medals, six being gold, two in singles events, four in doubles. Table tennis for Edith Santifaller started in 1949 when 17 years old, her father bought her a table tennis table. She took part in her first tournament in Merano, winning

Oman to host 2022 World Veteran Championships

Members of the Oman delegation in Budapest (left to right)Mohammed Humaid Al Kelbani, Abdullah Mohamed Bamakhalef and Sajad Al Lawati (Photo: Leon Libin) by Ian Marshall, Editor Orginally staged in Gothenburg in 1982, the home of the World Veteran Championships has travelled far and wide; the most popular destinations being Europe but the event has also being staged in such countries as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China Japan, New Zealand and the United States. Now there is a new destination; new part of the world bids welcome. In 2022, the tournament will be staged in the Gulf Area of the world, the destination is Oman, a national association that is rapidly making its presence felt on the international stage. One year ago, a highly successful Oman