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European Veterans Championships - 31 May 2013

DING Yi well known in the Bundesliga


People in Germany and players in the Bundesliga know DING Yi well. The born Chinese from Shanghai who came to Austria, but lives in Switzerland in the meantime, played for Frickenhausen and Fulda in the highest German League. For Austria, DING Yi particip

People in Germany and players in the Bundesliga know DING Yi well. The born Chinese from Shanghai who came to Austria, but lives in Switzerland in the meantime, played for Frickenhausen and Fulda in the highest German League. For Austria, DING Yi participated at seven World Championships and is especially proud to have played in four Olympic Games between 1988 and 2000. His best Olympic result was the fifth place in 1992. The Austrian newspaper “Der Standard“ wrote in February 2012: Already 1988, when he was No. 9, he beat the Chinese No. 1 CHEN Longcan. “Many fans and journalists in China wanted to know why the Association let me go abroad“ explains DING Yi.

Why did the Association agree? “Table Tennis in China is mainly politics“ says the father of two sons. Although he belonged to the best five players in the country he probably would not have been chosen to represent China internationally because his coach was not well recognised. „I desperately wanted to compete internationally – this was my ambition“ stated Ding Yi.

The name Ding Yi is very much connected with table tennis in Austria. Werner SCHLAGER, World champion in 2003, stated once that there would not have been the Champion SCHLAGER without DING Yi.

DING Yi, the penhold player, was World Veterans Champion in 2008 (Over 40) and 2010 (Over 50), in 2009 he became European Veterans Champion. Two years ago, in Liberec, he lost the final. In Bremen, the professional export salesman wants to regain the title. “This tournament is like a holiday for me. I see many known faces. It is remarkable how many players are here. This shows how popular table tennis is in Europe – and also that you can play our sport even in high age“ explains Ding Yi who comments very positively about the organisation and the arena in Bremen. The free day on Wednesday theAustrian used for a small stroll in the centre of town.

This season DING Yi played for Mauthausen in the top Austrian League. In the meantime, he moved to Switzerland where he trains the men’s National Team and the best youth hopes. When asked how long he will continue to play for, he answered in a newspaper interview in 2012: “As long as I win more matches than lose. If I lose too often it will be no fun any longer. Then I will say: enough is enough!“

 

Courtesy Diane and Eberhard SCHÖLER

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