World veterans champions crowned in Auckland
No less than 31 champions were crowned on the concluding day of play at the STAG 2014 World Veteran Championships in Auckland, New Zealand. In total 186 medals were presented on the concluding day of play. Eight age groups for men and eight for women, eac
No less than 31 champions were crowned on the concluding day of play at the STAG 2014 World Veteran Championships in Auckland, New Zealand. In total 186 medals were presented on the concluding day of play.
Eight age groups for men and eight for women, each witnessing singles and doubles plus a consolation event in each category; that was the scenario, the only event that did not materialise was Over 85 Women’s Doubles.
Otherwise with 40 to 49 years being the youngest category, followed by 50 to 59 years and then organised in five year sections with the most senior being 85 years plus, all events were staged and staged successfully. Furthermore, the names of those who proudly held the title “World Champion” were not those who had enjoyed fame at World Championships or other tournaments on the international scene.
The one notable exception was Austria’s Stanislaw FRACZYK who won the Men’s Singles 60 to 64 years’ category; an event in which LI Yuxiang of the United States suffered his first ever Men’s Singles defeat at a World Veteran Championships. In 1996 and 1998 he won the Men’s Singles 40 to 49 years title, in 2006, the Men’s Singles 50 to 59 years’ crown. He was beaten at the semi-final stage by Estonia’s Rein LINMAE (5-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7). Defeat in a hard fought contest and whilst the friendly atmosphere prevailed throughout, make no mistake the desire to win was intense.
However, there was one final that did disturb LI Yuxiang and many others. The final of the Men’s Singles 40 to 49 year’s category saw China’s Tang Bing beat colleague LI Zheng in three straight games (11-5, 11-4, 11-4). Earlier LI Zheng had beaten Sweden’s Peter KARLSSON, the hot favourite for the title in a full distance five games duel (7-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6). Peter KARLSSON offered no excuses for his defeat; simply his adversary had risen to the occasion. The match was hard fought and on the day the better man won.
Alas, the final was not hard fought; it was more the semblance of an exhibition match. Certainly it raised the eyebrows of those watching. Was LI Zheng injured or was there another answer?
Nevertheless, whatever your views, the overall feeling in the Trusts Arena was that Table Tennis New Zealand and the Organising Committee of the Stag World Veteran Championships had delivered a superb tournament. Unquestionably those concerned had worked long and tiring hours both during and in the lead up to the event. In recognition of the efforts made, Eberhard SCHÖLER, the President of the Swaythling Club International, made presentations to the key people concerned in delivering an excellent tournament.
Silver rackets were awarded to Paul KYLE (Chair Table Tennis New Zealand), John LEA (Executive Director), James MORRIS (Tournament Director) and Henry REDMOND (Host for Swaythling Club).
In addition, Ron GARRETT (Tournament Director) received a Swaythling Club Cube and Tie, as did Marc FREWIN (Chair of the Organising Committee). Also, a pennant and tie was presented to Brian James and a pennant and scarf to Bev JAMES in recognition of their efforts.
Similarly, a pennant was awarded to Geoff RAU, a member of the Organising Committee.
Last but by no means least, pennants were present Rakesh KOHLI and Vivek KOHLI, the Chair and Co-Chair of the Stag Company who had given such outstanding support. The biggest and most ambitious table tennis tournament ever staged in New Zealand had been a success; the Stag 2014 World Veteran Championships will live long in the memory.
Roll of Honour
Stag 2014 World Veteran Championships: Roll of Honour – Men HERE
Stag 2014 World Veteran Championships: Roll of Honour – Women HERE