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

Message from President, Swaythling Club

by Eberhard Schöler, President Swaythling Club International At a recent meeting of the Executive Committee held via Skype the subject of an Annual General Meeting (AGM) was discussed. We are very conscious that according to our constitution we should have had an AGM at the World Championships in Busan during 2020, but as you all know this was not possible as the event was cancelled amidst the Covid pandemic. It was then planned to have the AGM in Busan in 2021 on the rearranged dates, but again this was not possible. The Executive Committee would like to hold the AGM in 2021, with elections, but at the time of writing await an announcement from the ITTF as to when and where the World Championships might take place.  If this again proves impossible we will look to

Courting controversy but a true sporting personality, we remember Chester Barnes.

Chester Barnes, the racket his trademark by Diane Webb & Ian Marshall England international, Chester Barnes passed away on Thursday 18th March; born on Monday 27th January 1947 in Forest Gate, east London, he was 74 years old. He died of a heart attack. Always known as Chester but in fact legally George. The legend is that his father suggested “Chester” after the entertainer, Charlie Chester, one of the most celebrated comedians, radio and later television presenters of the era; a man who could talk the hind leg off a donkey! Perhaps it suited, Chester Barnes was no mean conversationalist. It was an era when England needed a table tennis star; Diane and Rosalind Rowe, alongside Johnny Leach, being world champions were household names, but

Alan Hydes remembers distinguished official

Alan Hydes pictured with Maurice Goldstein win 1982. A former President of the English Table Tennis Association in the 1978 New Year’s Honours List, Maurice Goldstein received the O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire). Throughout his life, Maurice Goldstein worked tirelessly for the sport of table tennis, especially in his home city of Birmingham.

Germany the focus in travel through time

Günther Angenendt displays one of his prized possessions You may need to spruce up your linguistic skills, buy a dictionary or use the latest magical translation service afforded on the internet but even if you cannot understand a word of German you will be enthralled by the detailed work of Günther Angenendt. On the sport of table tennis he possesses a mine of memorabilia and a deep mine at that! He presents: bbbb"Reise durch die Tischtennisgeschichte unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des deutschen Tischtennis". Applauded by Hans Wilhelm Gäb, the Honorary President of the German Table Tennis Association (DTTB), the sequence of photographs, or in modern parlance "images" last 84 minutes. Grab a drink, sit back and enjoy!

Remembering George Damianov, highly respected by all

George Damianov, a true gentleman (Photo: courtesy of Manitoba Table Tennis Association) A pivotal member of the Bulgarian national team for many years, George Damianov passed away on Wednesday 27th January, as a result of contracting Covid-19; his wife has a milder form of the virus and is recovering. Born in Haskovo on Monday 27th March 1950, he was 70 years old.The sporting career commenced in Momchilgrad, where his parents moved to live and work. He gained professional qualifications in Sofia, specializing in table tennis with great distinction. Following success at cadet and junior level, representing VIF Akademic and CSKA Sofia, he won six titles at the national championships, notably the three major individual events, each on two occasions. Undoubtedly, the most successful

After long illness Park Docheon passes away

The smile we remember, Park Docheon at the 2008 Asian Univeristies Championships in Mongolia (Photo: ATTU) Chair of the Asian Table Tennis Union’s Technical and Umpires Committee, following a long illness, suffering from cancer, Park Docheon passed away on Friday 29th January. Born on Monday 1st January 1951, he was 70 years old. In addition to his position within the Asian Table Tennis Union, he was very much a key figure within the Korea Table Tennis Association. He became the International Director in 1981, an office he held to the present day, also during that period from 2013 to 2016, he fulfilled the role of Vice President. Most notably at the World Championships in 1991 in Chiba, he was the Public Information Officer for