Historic date: 50 years ago, Australian Ping Pong Diplomacy

Paul Pinkewich, a member of the 1971 Australian team (Photo: ITTF) Much has been written over the years about the United States team visiting China, following an invitation received at the 1971 World Championships in Nagoya; the outcome being that the following year Richard Nixon, President of the United States, visited the world's most populous country. However, less well known is that the Australian table tennis team also accepted an invitation from the Chinese government; Wednesday 21st April marks 50 years since those wearing the colours of the green and gold, stepped foot on Chinese soil. Australian Ping Pong Diplomacy was enacted, matches, training sessions and cultural visits being the order of proceedings; the effect closer relations were established between the two countries,

Leszek Kucharski, newest member

Leszek Kucharski at the 1981 World Championships in Novi Sad (Photo: Malcolm Anderson) Born on Wednesday 8th July 1959, Poland’s Leszek Kucharski is the latest member of the Swaythling Club International. The now 61-year-old competed in eight World Championships commencing in 1997 in Birmingham, before being ever present from 1981 in Novi Sad to 1993 in Gothenburg. Most notably in 1985 in Gothenburg, alongside Stefan Dryszel, Andrzej Grubb, Andrzei Jakubowicz and Norbert Mnich, he was a member of the Polish outfit that secured bronze in the men’s team event. The performance matched the best ever from a Polish men’s team at a World Championships; significantly, it marked 50 years since their first ever success. In 1935 in London, the trio of Aloizy Ehrlich, Loewenhertz

Libuse Uhrova in our thoughts

Libuse Uhrova, always a warm gentle smile (Photo: city of Pardubice) Born in 1935, Libuse Uhrova, perhaps better known by her maiden name, Libuse Grafkova passed away on Friday 9th April; suffering from cancer, she was 86 years old. A career which started in 1947, she was a member of the Czechoslovak national team from 1952 to 1963, occupying top spot on the national rankings throughout 1957 and 1958. In 1992 Libuse Uhrova with Steve Boros, Ichiro Ogimura and Ferenc Sido (Photo: Ebby and Diane Schöler) Playing days over, from 1964 she turned her attentions to coaching, firstly at the Sokol Pardubice club; then later in 1974 at T.J. Tesia. Displaying initiative, she fostered international matches against Yugoslavia, as well as for a period of

Toni Borg remembered, a role model for future generations.

Toni Borg, in 2012, as ever competitive (Photo: Christian Heyerdahl) A stalwart member of the Swedish men’s team, in his prime some six decades ago, following a period of two weeks in hospital, suffering from Covid-19, Toni Borg passed away on Saturday 27th March. He died just two weeks short of what would have been his 84th birthday; he was born on Saturday 10th April 1937. A debut when only 17 years old, he played 29 international matches for Sweden, participating in the World Championships in 1957 in Stockholm and two years later in Dortmund. Additionally, he competed in the 1960 European Championships in Zagreb, the second edition of tournament. Lining up alongside Hans Alser, Tony Larsson, Bjorne Mellström and Stellan Bengtsson, silver was