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 25 years, hosting the Marie Kettner Cup in Pardubice, a tournament in which the vast majority of future Czech international players competed.

Libuse Uhrova, recognised in the pavement for famous athletes in Pardubice (Photo: city of Pardubice)

Additionally, she organised tournaments for veteran players and co-operated with the International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability (INAS) in the organisation of events for the mentally handicapped athletes. She was a prominent figure when the INAS World Championships were staged in Hradec Kralove.

From 1992 to 2015, she was the Swaythling Club national representative, a role she fulfilled true to her character with enthusiasm and efficiency; Libuse Uhrova is sadly missed.

Libuse Uhrova with Diane Schöler and Joe Veselsky in 1994 in Lillehammer (Photo: Ebby and Diane Schöler)

Table Tennis Clubs

  • 1947 – 1953: Czech Lion (Lokomotiva) Beroun
  • 1953 – 1956: Prague
  • 1956 – 1958: RH Prague
  • 1958 – 1960: Slavoj Pilsen Breweries Pilsen
  • 1960 – 2021: TJ Tesla Pardubice

European Championships
1958 Budapest: Women’s Team – Bronze

1960 Zagreb: Women’s Team – Bronze

World Championships

  • Six Appearances: Competed in London (1954), Utrecht (1955), Stockholm (1957), Dortmund (1959), Beijing (1961), Prague (1963)

World Veteran Championships

  • Five Appearances: Rimini (1986), Zagreb 1988), Dublin (1992), Lillehammer (1996), Vancouver (2000)

National Titles & Awards

1950 – 1952: Five times National Junior Champion (women’s doubles, women’s team)

1957 – 1974: Seven times National Champion (women’s doubles, mixed doubles, women’s team)

1961: Awarded title “Master of Sport”

2015: Inducted into Czech Table Tennis Hall of Fame (the event celebrated 90 years of table tennis in the Czech Republic)

2015: Elected a member of the Pardubice Hall of Fame