„The Mozart of table tennis” final symphonyPhoto: Jan-Ove Waldner FB page
Jan-Ove WALDNER, 50-year-old legend, ends his career tonight in Swedish League
Jan-Ove WALDNER, widely regarded as the greatest table tennis player ever, will end his outstanding career tonight in his hometown Stockholm, playing in the concluding round of the 2015/16 Swedish National League. Former Olympic, World and European champion, 50-year-old legend, will lead the last time Sparvagen Elit which hosts BTK Rekord in the 14th round.
Ten years ago WALDNER has retired from the Swedish national team but continued to play in the club’s competitions. He is one of only four players in the history with a Career Grand Slam (World Champion, World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist in singles). Beside him only three Chinese players completed that remarkable accomplishment: LIU Goliang, KONG Linghui and ZHANG Jike.
WALDNER won his first of many individual gold medals back in 1989, playing in the World Championships in Dortmund. He took 11 titles in total at the European Championships (1996, Bratislava, Singles event winner) helping Sweden to reach seven top places. The 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona was a peak of his career, as he became a champion at the most prestigious sport event. Regarding World Championships, he collected six more gold medals (two individual – 1989 Dortmund and 1997 Manchester; and four in Team Event).
„The Mozart of table tennis”, how he was often referred to, won 37 medals in total, counting just three major competitions (WCH, ECH, Olympics). He also has seven titles from Euro Top 12, as well as World Cup gold from 1990 Chiba City.