European Veterans Championships

Impressive start for Petra Sörling and Pia Toelhøj in Rimini

Gold at the 2018 World Veteran Championships in Las Vegas for Petra Sörling partnering her long-time friend, Denmark’s Pia Toelhøj; on Tuesday 28th June at the Stag 2022 European Veteran Championships in Rimini, the duo made the perfect start in the quest for further honours.

Competing in group two in the women’s doubles 50-54 years category the pair emulated the form of some four years earlier.

They beat Turkey’s Ozlem Ozer and Saadet Tekeş (11-6, 11-6, 11-6) and Germany’s Angela Matiske and Inga Pulver-Schuback (11-4, 11-5, 11-5) prior to overcoming Italy’s Dana-Mihaela Iliescu and Germany’s Janina Schwitalla (11-4, 11-4, 11-3).

“We are a very good doubles team because we have known each other since we were very young at a training camp. Then we had an 18 years’ long break, during which we did not play table tennis, we came back in 2016. We did not do well so we practised a lot and in 2018 we won at the World Veteran Championships. I think we win because we are friends and enjoy playing together.”

For Petra Sörling table tennis is a family passion.

“The sport entered my life through my father, he was a player, and also through my bigger sister, nine years older, who played too. I could not follow, because I was too young, finally I went with them, I could not catch the ball. When I was eight I came back, and it things went well. My best ranking was no.3 junior in Sweden.

Now, ITTF President, in Rimini she is the focus of attention.

“A lot of people want to make interviews and to take photos and I need much more mental practice. I enjoy challenging myself to stay in my bubble. I like to stay among the other players and this opinion is not only mine. Let me say that here as player we have super important persons such as the President of Norway and Denmark Table Tennis Federations, the General Secretary of Denmark and also another member of the Board of Norway. They prefer to stay on the front line instead of hiding in the corner. I love to be a player. Actually, I only play doubles, so I can also deal with my work of President.”

Petra Sörling is delighted to be in Rimini.

“It’s really great to be here and everything is working well. The atmosphere is fantastic, it’s wonderful to meet again after three years of pandemic and to challenge.”

Moreover, the goal is clear.

“Pia and myself are here to win the title. It will not be easy because there are a lot of strong pairs, if we do our best we are happy and if we enjoy what we do everything goes that much better.”