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Other Events - 26 Apr 2015

Jean-Michel SAIVE is still full of energy


Jean-Michel SAIVE of Belgium plays at the QOROS 2015 World Table Tennis Championships his 24th World Championships in Suzhou. His first was back in 1983 as a 13 year old. Now, 32 years later, he is still in good shape, hungry for game. “I still love to pl

Jean-Michel SAIVE of Belgium plays at the QOROS 2015 World Table Tennis Championships his 24th World Championships in Suzhou. His first was back in 1983 as a 13 year old. Now, 32 years later, he is still in good shape, hungry for game.

“I still love to play this game and I love to compete. And I do not want to add some 20 kilos extra…Maybe plus two, but not 20,” add SAIVE laughing. “I am tying to have practice every day, but I guess the average is five time per week. It is three days reserved for sport and the others for running, biking or fitness.”

The player of Logis Auderghem, the member of ETTU Cup, still waits for his first adversary in Suzhou. “With my rankings it could be someone from positions from one to 64…If we talk about my chances against MA Long here, and someone from lower places it is not the same story. I just have to be patient and wait to see the draw before I talk about the expectations.”

SAIVE is currently ranked at the position no. 130. He will have unique role this summer. SAIVE is qualified for the first European Games to be held in Baku in June and Jean Michel who is also a member of the International Table Tennis Federation Athletes Committee, is the President of the European Olympic Athletes Commission. “I will be all over the Baku this summer. It is going to be strange to be in the suite one day, then to attend the Opening ceremony and then to change for the jersey and play on the field. But I will certainly enjoy the moment”, said the player who has competed in every Olympic Games since table tennis was introduced in 1988.
In Belgium’s team are also Cedric NUYTINCK and Robin DEVOS.

“We have young players among top 200. It is good position for making plans for future, since they are 19,21 years old. If we talk about Europe’s average for top players, which is above 30, it give us good chance after the generation of SAMSONOV, BOLL and then OVTCHAROV and FREITAS leaves. Of course there is a long way and they are certainly under pressure of the past Belgium’s results, but we have to start to create a new team.”

Milica NIKOLIC, EWT

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