KRAMER: The great champions of Europe deserve their Hall of FamePhoto: Elena ELISEEVA
In the glamorous reception held in the Ekaterinburg EXPO during the 2015 LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships, European Table Tennis Union Project Coordinator Zita PIDL introduced the brand new ETTU project in front of numerous guests and media representatives. ETTU proudly launched the European Table Tennis Hall of Fame and its web site.
ETTU President Ronald KRAMER highlighted the importance of such historical project.
“I feel quite fortunate the European Table Tennis Hall of Fame come true during my Presidency. The great champions of Europe do deserve their Hall of Fame " stated ETTU President Ronald KRAMER.
The website honors the champions, legendary players, coaches and others who have made an exceptional contribution to the development of Table Tennis in Europe.
The member of the ETTHoF selection Panel Walter RÖNMARK, who was a member of the board of Swedish Table Tennis from 1994 and elected president from 2003 to 2013 explained few details about the Panel.
“We had a long discussions during our meetings about the selection and we are aware that it will never satisfy everybody. However we did our best according to the agreed criteria. Every year there will be new inductees.”
Some of the legendary stars attended the reception as special guests. Among the guests was Marie HRACHOVA. She is the World vice Champion and European Champion in Mixed Doubles. In 1988 she reached the semi-final stage of the Women’s Singles event at the Seoul Olympic Games; it is the best ever performance by a European female player at the Olympics.
“I recent past I have been a president of Club in small city where I started to play table tennis and returned there when I finished to play for the national team. It was more than twenty years ago. Also I was working as a coach. Last year I got back to playing because one of my players had a baby. It was very good experience for me. ”
Valentina POPOVA was the superstar of the European table tennis is the late seventies and in the eighties. She is nine times European champion; in 1984 she won in all events (team, singles, doubles and mixed doubles). She was born in Azerbaijan, was national team member of Soviet Union. Now she lives in Slovakia.
“Last year I played and I told myself it is enough and I have to finish my career. However, I was invited to take a part in the next Veteran Championship that will be held in Moscow and of course I cannot resist playing there. It’s an honor for me to become a part of Hall of fame. ”
“Mr Table Tennis of 2003” Werner SCHLAGER in that year became the first European player to combined the titles at the European and Words Championships. Now he is proud co-owner of the world famous TT Academy.
“I am very happy to be part of the first selection of players. Thank you very much for it. 2003 was a year of big changes for me. It is important for future generation to stay connect with our past and to learn from the best. ”
The first Hall of Fame members are announced: Maria ALEXANDRU (Romania), Mikael APPELGREN (Sweden), Otilia BADESCU (Romania), Viktor BARNA (Hungary, England), Csilla BATORFI (Hungary), Stellan BENGTSSON (Sweden), Zoltan BERCZIK (Hungary), Tamara BOROS (Croatia), Richard BERGMAN (Austria, England), Fluira BULATOVA (USSR, Italy), Gizi FARKAS (Hungary), Jean-Philippe GATIEN (France), Gabor GERGELY (Hungary), Andrzej GRUBBA (Poland), Jill HAMMERSLEY (England), Maria HRACHOVA (Czech Republic), Kjell JOHANSSON (Sweden), Istvan JONYER (Hungary), Tibor KLAMPAR (Hungary), Eva KOCZIAN (Hungary), Johnny LEACH (England), Judit MAGOS (Hungary), Maria MEDNYANSZKI (Hungary), Jörgen PERSSON (Sweden), Valentina POPOVA (USSR, Slovakia), Trude PRITZI (Austria), Jörg ROSSKOPF (Germany), Angelica ROZEANU (Romania), Zoya RUDNOVA (USSR), Werner SCHLAGER (Austria), Eberhard SCHÖLER (Germany), Ferenc SIDO (Hungary), Dragutin SURBEK (Yugoslavia), Bettine VRIESEKOOP (Netherlands), Ella ZELLER-CONSTANTINESCU (Romania), Jan-Ove WALDNER (Sweden).
The list of 36 names is not final, there will benew names added to the ETTHoF in future years.
You can visit web site here