Emotional meeting with the historyPhoto: Richard Kalosai
European Table Tennis Hall of Fame
In special and emotional gathering during the 2016 LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships in Budapest, with the attendance of numerous guests and officials, the new inductees in the European Table Tennis Hall of Fame were announced.
The names of Jean-Michel SAIVE, Bohumil VANA, Fred PERRY, Zarko DOLINAR, Hans ALSÉR, Agnes SIMON, Diane SCHÖLER, Marie KETTNEROVA and Anna SIPOS, were added to the list of the players who made the history of the table tennis.
The special guests, the Hungarian Team World Champions of 1979 István JÓNYER, Tibor KLAMPÁR and Gábor GERGELY, graced the celebration with their presence; the special moment was when Eva KÓCZIÁN, the oldest living female European World Champion, winner of the very first European Championships that has been organized in 1958 in Budapest, joined the celebration.
“At my age I am not able to do many things, but I am looking for every opportunity to go to see the tournaments in Hungary. Unfortunately, I had not stayed in the table tennis after I finished the playing career due the family reasons,” said KÓCZIÁN.
Radivoj HUDETZ, Chair of the ETTHoF Steering and Awards Panel, reminded everyone that Hungary is the cradle of table tennis.
“Hungary made the history of table tennis with their great achievement and I am happy that we are here today,” said HUDETZ. ”It has been a year since we started the Project of ETTHoF and we made a nice progress. We also have big plans for future.”
Bettine VRIESEKOOP HoF member since 2015, Tamara BOROS HoF member since 2015, Jean-Michel SAIVE HoF inductee of 2016 and Jörgen PERSSON HoF member since 2015, all accepted the invitation and came to the meeting.
“ I concluded my career at age of 40 in 2000. I like to play time after time, but I am not involved professionally in table tennis”, said VRIESEKOOP.
Tamara BOROS, on the other side, is still very active in the sport.
“I am trying to share my knowledge and experience and to help young athletes to become a better players.”
Jean-Michel SAIVE is also very active, but he is very much involved in managing aspects of sport.
“I am enjoying my work for Olympic Committee, but I am also almost two and the half years the Sport director in French speaking part of the federation. I am trying to contribute to the sport in a different way.”
PERSSON is in Hungary for another important reason. He will attend tomorrow’s Congress as a candidate for a position of a Member of the ITTF BOD.
“Few days ago I was chosen to be the Ambassador for the World Championships that will be held in my home city Halmstad,” said PERSSON, who also helps OVTCHAROV with his coaching knowledge.
The gathering finished with the photo session in front of big panel in the hall with the pictures of all current members of the HoF.
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