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History of U.S. Table Tennis Volume 14: 1985-86

CHAPTER FOURTEEN 

1985: World Cup (Eric Boggan Beats World Champion Jiang Jialiang).  1985: U.S./Canadian Tournaments (including World Games for the Deaf, $7,000 CNE, and $3,500 Hoosier Open). 

            Here’s TSP American distributor Danny Robbins (SPIN, Oct., 1985, cover+) reporting on the $55,000 World Cup, played Aug. 22-25 in Foshan, China: 

            “China’s Chen Xinhua dominated his opponents [well, all but one] in winning the $55,000 World Cup. Only Sweden’s Jan-Ove Waldner could challenge Chen, extending him to 19 in the fifth in the quarter’s. Chen, who can win either by chopping or looping, repeated the remarkable performance he’d put on at the ’85 World’s where he’d posted a 12-0 record in the Team’s.

            In the finals [of this so-called 555 tournament, sponsored by the British American Tobacco Company] it was Chen vs. Poland’s Andrzej Grubba. They had met each other during their preliminary round robin in which the outcome was meaningless since both had already advanced into Championship contention. In that first match-up, Grubba fell behind, gave up (“I have no chance to beat him,” he’d say later), and reverted to exhibition table tennis—he and Chen entertaining the packed house of 4,500 with world-class play.

            It’s difficult to think there’s a player that Grubba doesn’t have a chance to beat, but China’s great chopper/looper made it difficult for anyone to imagine a way Grubba could win.

            Chen flips his long-pips/inverted racket on the serve and, if his opponent doesn’t attack that serve or make an excellent placement, Chen follows with a powerful loop. Grubba doesn’t have the kinds of touch that Waldner used to move Chen in and out so well. As a result, Chen easily returned most of Grubba’s topspins and even used them to make his own chop returns more effective. Although of the two, Grubba was topspinning the most, his shots were actually defensive because he had to prevent Chen from looping. Chen was alternating between following his own serves with powerful point-winning loops and fooling Grubba by varying his spin on the chops. In the final, down 2-0 and 17-7 in the third, Grubba again gave up and played another exhibition for the crowd.

            The USA’s Eric Boggan wasn’t originally scheduled to play in this World Cup—he was invited when 37-year-old, many-time French Champion Jacques Secretin pulled out. When World Champion Jiang Jialiang heard that Eric would replace Secretin, he told the International Management Group (IMG) promoting the event that he was “afraid” to play Eric in his first match. [“Afraid”? Really? Well, true or not, it would make a good hype since Eric had almost beaten Jiang at the recent U.S. Open.]

            The World Champ and U.S. Champ exchanged the first two games with Eric pressing Jiang’s backhand with his own backhand and driving his forehand well. Jiang was winning points simply by placing the ball short with touch pushes followed by forehand drives, or by using forehand drives to move Eric side to side. At 16-all in the third, Eric played strong drives and counters to Jiang’s backhand almost every point and defeated the World Champion at 18.

            Eric went on to win his group but lost his quarterfinal match to Grubba. Down 2-1 in games, Eric began forcing his shots and drew to 13-14, at which point he drove Grubba to the barriers with a long series of forehands. But the Pole executed a desperation return that caught the edge. That broke Eric’s momentum and Grubba went on to take the match at 18. Eric then defeated Waldner to finish 7th for the third time in Cup play.

            Canada’s talented Joe Ng who had qualified for this World Cup by winning the North American Championship, had a good win over last year’s Cup finalist, Kim Wan of South Korea. Ng finished third in his preliminary group of four and 11th over all out of a field of 16.”

            Late Results: Final: Chen Xinhua over Andrzej Grubba, 16, 15, 11. Semi’s: Chen over Chen Longcan, 15, 16, 17; Grubba over Jiang Jialiang, 13, 21, -18, 16. Quarter’s: Chen Xinhua over Jan-Ove Waldner, -18, 16, 13, -21, 19; Grubba over Eric Boggan, 12, 14, -9, 18; Chen Longcan over Kim Ki Taek, -18, 17, 12, 13; Jiang over Lo Chuen Chung, 21, 17, 17.

            Final Standings: 1. Chen Xinhua (CHN), $16,000. 2. Andrzej Grubba (POL), $7,500. 3. Jiang Jialiang (CHN), $5,000. 4. Chen Longcan (CHN), $4,300. 5. Lo Chuen Chung (HKG), $3,300. 6. Kim Ki Taek (KOR), $3,100. 7. Eric Boggan (USA), $2,900. 8. Jan-Ove Waldner (SWE), $2,700. 9. Kiyoshi Saito (JPN), $2,000. 10. Yoshihito Miyazaki (JPN), $1,800. 11. Joe Ng (CAN), $1,600. 12. Tommy Danielsson (AUS), $1,400. 13. Atanda Musa (NIG), $1,000. 14. Leszek Kucharski (POL), $900. 15. Kim Wan (KOR), $800. 16. Ulf Bengtsson (SWE), $700. 

Eric Boggan, in a “Letter Home to his Parents” (Wiggy’s Table Tennis News, Nov. 6, 1985), writes of his World Cup experience: 

“(Ed.’s Note. This August it had been difficult for Eric, on being picked at the last minute to play in the World Cup at Foshan, China, to get permission from his Bundesliga Club owner, Steinhagen’s Rudiger Lamm, to go there. True, Eric would not miss a Match, but—it was the principle of the thing—he would miss…practice. [But wouldn’t the Steinhagen Club be getting some favorable publicity from Eric being one of the 16 entries in this prestigious World Cup?] “O.K., Eric,” said his boss after an hour and a half’s debate, “you can go. But you’ll have to pay the price—a very heavy fine in U.S. dollars for every day you’re gone.”) 

“Dear Mom and Tim,

“…It doesn’t hurt to live aggressively. I’m very happy I took the journey.

Lawless, Shipley and the other IMG-connected people (crackin’ good blokes) were very nice to me. They’re polite, have a sense of humor, and like their business of calling the shots. Mr. and Mrs. Evans seemed to be having a good time too….H. Roy even danced a little when he was tipsy before giving way to my tapes, break-dancing, and circle group-dancing. Mrs. Evans was nice—even rooted for me.

I played very well in spurts—beating Jiang, who wasn’t really himself all tournament. He played too stiff, went for bad, impulsive shots, made mistakes. His concentration in his home town wasn’t there. Kucharski and Miyazaki weren’t in form and I didn’t even play great to win.*

The Hall had no air-conditioning and after one game we were all dripping and had to go for the towel almost every point. The hotel rooms had high-powered air-conditioning and I don’t like sleeping in a cool breeze. The last couple of days I started to get the horrible sore throat I have now, and can barely talk.

China has come a long way. The people wear colorful clothes, and cars, buses, and bikes have replaced the oxen, which plow along in the country. People are very curious, and Tommy Danielsson [a Swede who’s migrated to “Down Under” to play for the Aussies] and I had a laugh with the always amused waitresses. They were always there, watching us, sometimes getting our autographs. We had to draw pictures once to get a dessert and these young women were interested and cute, and very happy to help.

We had toast, oatmeal, and eggs for breakfast. For lunch and dinner we could have Chinese or European food prepared by a cook from Macao. I chose Chinese—Szechuan shrimps, corn soup, fried rice, sweet and sour pork. All very tasty, but you tire of it after a while….Funny to watch the Chinese tie one on at the banquet before the Games.

A lot of the time I felt weak in the afternoon—my stomach was queasy and I became down. Hans Kron,** the new Swedish coach, gave me some medicine. Tommy Danielsson is one of the nicest guys imaginable….We had a lot of laughs and he was there when he felt I needed him. Unbelievable. Makes me feel good.

I lost to Grubba, 18 in the fourth. He’s a consummate pro and I’m not. I was lost, daydreaming, and got buried in the first two. He knows where I’ll play my shots and he keeps the ball in play. I was in and out, and on and off, weary, at times not completely there. So he won more points than I did.

Once in a while I’d take a walk with Tommy and Danny Robbins to the Friendship Store (where the appliances weren’t cheap)….I bought some Budweisers (in cans) from a refrigerator, amazed but happy—better than San Miguel-blah.

Waldner lost 19 in the fifth to Chen Xinhua, who beat Grubba easily. Waldner and I are good buddies….I wanted him to beat Chen, who is a total class act and an army (invincible). There were great exchanges. Touch and placement vs. coordination, athleticism, and power.

Waldner and I played too. Our last point, when he went through the motions vs. me, was hilarious. He lobbed and put sidespin on the ball and I hit the corner to the extreme. He hopped over the barrier and I eventually smashed the ball into the net on his side to win! He jumped and locked into me and we crashed into the barriers laughing hysterically.

As Roy Evans delivered his speech, the Chinese fireworks started outside. They dropped huge rows, which hung from a building, and lasted half an hour. Then we got a police escort and attended a nice party. I chugged a few with Miyazaki, and found Saito incredibly funny—he was a loony, really opened up. The Hong Kong player, Lo, was very tranquil, engaging, at ease with his surroundings.

After the tournament when I was in Hong Kong, Chiu Man Kuen took me to his office and gave me some interesting-looking Double Fish antispin. Naturally I bought a few things in Hong Kong with some of my prize money.” 

U.S. Tournaments Through September

            Results of the Tri-City Open, played Sept. 1 in Seattle: Open Singles: Quang Bui over Jay Crystal, 10, 15, 16. U-2000’s: Greg Eng over Bob Mandel, 14, -12, 21. U-1850’s: Dave Talcott over Fred Bartsch, 20, -9, 17, then over Hung Pham, 17, 17. U-1700’s: Jeff Frahler, 19, 19, over Rod Furukawa who’d outlasted Nora Ly, -15, 11, 20. U-1550’s: Furakawa, -13, 18, 13, over Paul Johnson, after Paul had survived Eugene Wong, 21, -17, 18. U-1300’s: Randa Ly over Bob Melton, 19, 12. U-1150’s: Brian Russell over Arnie Mackey, 15, 15. U-1000’s: Gabriel Ortez over Russell, 18, 11. Senior’s: 1. Bob Ho, 5-0. 2. Harold Fredrickson, 4-1. College Singles: 1. Hung Pham. 2. Liana Panesko. 

            “The Sacramento Table Tennis World  (Wiggy’s, Nov. 27, 1985?) opened its new season by hosting a Fall Open. In the Open Singles final, Duc Luu took home the $200 first prize by defeating De Tran. In the U-2000 Singles, 16-year-old Anthony Streutker, who’d won the U-1900’s at Table Tennis World’s Silver City Open in August, finished first by beating Greg Smith. Jeff Mason coaches Anthony and seven other juniors four times a week at the club, which is also hosting several leagues during weeknights this season. Defeating Wayne Lo in the U-1850’s final and Kim Tam in the U-1700 finals was Angel Soltero who won Wiggy’s Sept. 25th Trivia Contest and as a result is now a Life Member of the USTTA. Leroy Yoder beat Warren Baxter to take the Over 50’s. 

            Harold Kopper (SPIN, Sept., 1985, 8) reports on the July 10-20 XV World Games for the Deaf, hosted by the Southern California TTA:

            “These Games, held by the International Deaf Organizing Committee (CISS) and recognized by the International Olympic Committee, are held every four years. The Games featured over 2000 athletes from 40 countries in 16 sports. Competitors must have a 55 DB hearing loss and are tested before they compete. Hearing aids are not allowed during the competition.

            The table tennis venue was the Santa Monica City College Gym. It was an excellent facility with good lighting and a fine floor. We used 12 Joola tables borrowed from the Alhambra T.T. Club and six Nissen tables from the Mar Vista T.T. Club. Nittaku three-star balls were used and TSP scorers were donated by Robbins Sport. One sour note occurred when 150 Stiga barriers sent from the U.S. Open were misplaced at the Game’s headquarters and were not found until the last day of the tournament. However, we used temporary barriers from the Alhambra Club.

            Thirteen countries were represented and 75 players competed. Japan won the gold medals in all events and West Germany collected many of the other medals. Ikushima of Japan won his fourth singles title. Jochen Leiss, who won the U.S. Open in 1977, was the coach of the West German men’s team.

            Many of the teams had excellent ITTF coaches, and some of the best players were judged to be over the 2200 level. The U.S. team was composed of beginning players who had trained at the Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs. They did not fare well as they were matched against more experienced competitors….

            The competitors ranged in age from 17-45 and were all friendly and showed excellent sportsmanship. The Japanese women were moved to tears when they won their medals. The athletes happily exchanged team pins and flags and collected scorecards and autographs. Some of the players could speak and others could not. However, all used sign language to communicate. ITTF rules were followed and very few disagreements occurred. West Germany lost to Japan 5-1 in the Men’s Team finals, but all the matches were closely contested—two or three points apart each game.

            The SCTTA was asked by Games Director Carol Billone to assist with table tennis. Ichiro Hashimoto and I became members of the jury for table tennis and served as Tournament Directors. The Commissioner for table tennis was Harry Dunai (a former member of the Burbank Club and the Hungarian Team in past Games); his assistant was Joe Weiss. All Commissioners to the Games must be deaf, and Harry did a fine job of preparing the table tennis competition.

            It takes many people to run such an international event and this would have been difficult to accomplish if there was not a regional USTTA affiliate like the SCTTA. Bob Partridge, an International Umpire who worked the ’85 Swedish World’s, served as Tournament Referee. The following people worked for six days: Craig Martin, Jim Yee, Leon Ruderman, Mas Hashimoto, and Heinz Kittel. All did a fine job, but Jim Yee stood out because of his knowledge of sign language. While umpiring he could sign his calls as well as speak them. All umpires wore black shirts and gray pants and club-umpire patches provided by the USTTA. Many SCTTA members obtained their club-umpire cards so they could help out at the Games. The SCTTA would like to thank Tim Boggan and the EC for providing USTTA patches and pins for all the competitors. They were appreciated by all.

            Aside from the people mentioned above, many other SCTTA members served as umpires and scorekeepers. They were: Rudy Kovin, Steve Shapiro, Eugene Taw, Minnie Taw, Lyn Smith, Stan Frisbee, Diane Frisbee (who served as an interpreter), Alex Heske, Mike Dempsey, Jim Beckford, Bob Green, David Huo, Kiem Huo, Charles Childers, Rich Livingston, Richard Badger, Fred Grobee, Richard Friedland, Gunther Pauley, Mary McIlwain, and Roxanne Tomita, a recreation supervisor from Alhambra (who also served as an interpreter).

            Results: Men’s Teams: 1. Japan (5-1). 2. West Germany. 3. Hungary. Women’s Teams: 1. Japan (3-0). 2. West Germany. 3. Hungary. Men’s Singles: 1. Ikushima, Japan (19, 17, 16). 2. Ito, Japan. 3. Hirschfelder, West Germany. Women’s Singles: 1.Takeshima, Japan (-17, 14, 4, 13). 2. Tsunekawa, Japan. 3. Stangl, West Germany. Men’s Doubles: 1.Ikushima/Yoshida, Japan (-18, 18, 10). 2. Rupcic/Ridinger, West Germany. 3. Tirpitz/Hirschfelder, West Germany. Women’s Doubles: Tsunekawa/Kato, Japan (9, 16, 18). 2. Takeshima/Aoki, Japan. 3. Stangl/Hein, West Germany. Mixed Doubles: 1. Yoshida/Aoki, Japan (17, -18, 22, 16). 2. Ikoshima/Takeshima, Japan. 3. Ho/Tsunekawa, Japan. 

            The Sept. 21-22 Alamo City R.R. (SPIN, Nov., 1981, 18) was sponsored by the San Antonio TTC, and held on 10 tables at the Fort Sam Houston Recreation Center (an air-conditioned facility with a cafeteria on location). Club President Don Geese and Tournament Director J.C. Tenay thank the many Houston players who loyally support the San Antonio tournaments, and thank especially Buddy Melamed for his positive statements about this weekend’s play.

            Winners: A Singles: 1. Saubano Adio. 2. Roberto Byles. 3. Jamaica’s Hector Bennett. 4. Scott Ryan. [More than a quarter of a century later, out of the blue, I, Tim, got a phone call from Hector Bennett thanking me for a Letter of Recommendation I’d written for him about this time.] B Singles: 1. Kyle Drake. 2. Roland Schilhab. C Singles: 1. Martin Vela. 2. Kenny Owens. D Singles: 1. J. Wilson. 2. Pigool (“Peggy”) Kulcharnpises. E Singles: 1. Wayne Schulz. 2. Paul Dodgen. F Singles: 1. Marjory Willcox. 2 [ ? ]. A Doubles: 1. Roberto/Ernie Byles. 2. Adio/Bennett. B Doubles: 1. Drake/James Rautis. 2. Carl Willis/Ryan. C Doubles: 1. Rick Hughes/Puls. 2. Kenny/Eric Owens. D Doubles: 1. Gene Sargent/William Garrard. 2. Dodgen/Edward Hu. 

            Wiggy’s (Nov. 27, 1985?) tells us that Dell and Connie Sweeris hosted the 9th Grand Rapids Summer Open, sponsored by the local club and the Foremost Insurance Company. For the field of 67 entries, $715 was awarded. Results: Teams: 1. Scott/Jimmy Butler over Jim Doney/Bob Cordell, -16, 21, 19. Open Singles. 1. Scott Butler, 3-0. 2. Jimmy Butler, 2-1. 3. Doney (having returned from college in Kalamazoo), 1-2. 4. Mike Veillette, 0-3. Class AA: Final: John Elwood over Hugh Shorey, -13, 20, 10. Semi’s: Elwood over Bob Dragozetic, 15, 16; Shorey over Mike Baber, 13, -12, 24. Class A: Final: Clark Yeh over Shorey, 19, 16. Semi’s: Yeh over Sam Zeoli, 14, 18; Shorey over Mark Merritt, 8, 5. Senior’s: Final: Guenther Schroeder*** over Larry Su. Semi’s: Schroeder over Imants Karklis; Su over Shorey. Junior’s: Final: John Elwood over Clark Yeh. Semi’s: Elwood over Mark Nordby; Yeh over Todd Meadows. 

Bill Su (SPIN, Oct., 1985, 24) covers the Sept. 14th Lansing, MI’s Community College (LCC) Fall Open:

Results: Open Singles: 1. Jim Doney, 3-0.**** 2. Bob Cordell, 2-1. 3.-4. Mike Baber and Mike Veillette. Doney stopped Cordell 18 in the 5th to finish first. Bob came second, thanks to two deuce-game winners in a five-game match with Veillette. AAA Singles: Baber over Dave Alt, 17, 13, 18. AA Singles: Dennis Hwang over Mark Artman, 15, 14, 20. (“Say ‘Goodbye’ to your 1687 rating, Dennis”).  A Singles: D. Alt over Kurt Lloyd, -16, 18, 17, 15. B Singles: D. Hwang over Ken Hwang, def. (but father Ken/son Dennis won the U-3500 Doubles). C Singles: D. Hwang over Ward Wood, 17, 12, 16. U-1600’s: Dale Nofzinger over Stan Talifero, 12, 13, 22. U-1500’s: Dave Peradotto over Dave Kiurski, 16, 20, 11. U-3000 Doubles: D. Hwang/Tim Pearson [opponents not named].

U-1400’s: Sid Stewart over Bob Enders. U-1300’s: Enders over Mark Hoogeveen, -18, -15, 14, 20, 19. U-1200’s: Enders over Pat Bryant, 8, 11, 11. U-1100’s: New Club member Mark Morton over Larry Su, 19, 12, 10. (“Larry trained in Hong Kong last summer under Hong Kong’s National Men’s Team Coach Cheng Chung-Yin.”)***** U-1000’s: Morton over Dale Ward, -16, 19, -15, 8, 15. U-900’s: Morton over Ward, 19, -16, 12, 8. Esquire’s: Wood over Bill Hornyak, -16, 19, -11, 15, 11. Senior’s: Wood over Guenther Schroeder, def. U-17’s: Mark Nordby over Kiurski, 13, -21, 19, -18, 13. U-15’s: Janine Schroeder, 12, 16, 16, over L. Su (1021) who’d advanced over Todd Sweeris (1648). U-13’s: Su over Sweeris, 19, -22, 24, 14. 

Concerning this year’s participation in the $7,000 CNE Open, to be played Aug. 29-Sept. 1 in Toronto, I, Tim, spoke to Selection Chair Bill Walk—told him I’d talked to the Ontario Association’s Executive Director Ken Kerr about the USTTA’s position with regard to the Team event at the CNE. I made it clear to Ken that the U.S. did not want to be part of a now 6-Team (Senior Men and Women have been added) U.S.-Canada match-up unless some move (some free hospitality, some free entries) was made towards us. I made the point to Ken that outfitting 25-30 players and coaches was just out of the question and that even finding, say, 30 matching windbreakers (and USTTA-patching them) would cost hundreds of dollars. Given what used to be called the Sheep and Swine Building (now the South Industry Building at the East end of the Coliseum), this Team event didn’t seem necessary.

But while CTTA Director-General Adham Sharara at a remove said he understood, Ken pleaded that his CNE sponsor wanted the international flavor of the Team competition, wanted this event more than any other. He said he’d check with OTTA officials about the possibility of helping us. (Of course OTTA President Ned McLennan did give the USTTA an excellent tape of the ’84 U.S. Open and is expected to give us one of the ’85 U.S. Open—that should be worth something.)

Helping us the Canadians did—but it was nothing to write home about. They gave us two hotel rooms for Friday and Saturday nights, one for the women, one for the men (the men cramped four in a room). Also, free entries for Team members in (“What a Sport!” said my son Scott) one event. We in turn dressed up—in matching windbreakers with USTTA patches on them.

As you can see from the Team event results that follow (OTTA Update, Fall, 1985, 8), some compromise was reached there too—there were five team events:

MEN (Canada 5—USA 1): Alain Bourbonnais d. Scott Boggan, 19, 17. Ricky Seemiller d. Bao Nguyen, 11, 8. Joe Ng d. Scott Butler, 9, 18. Bourbonnais d. Seemiller, 16, 16. Ng d. Boggan, 18, 15. Nguyen d. Butler, 9, 14. WOMEN (Canada 3—USA 0): Gloria Hsu d. Takako Trenholme, 7, 14. Mariann Domonkos d. Ardith Lonnon, 10, 11.  Hsu/Domonkos d. Trenholm/Lonnon, 13, 13.

JUNIOR MEN (USA (5)—Canada (4): Danny Poh d. Chi-Sun Chui, 17, 19. Peter Ng d. Chi-Ming Chui, 9, 13. Jimmy Butler d. Stephane Ubiali, 10, 19. Ng d. C-S Chui, 20, 16. Butler d. Poh, 5, -15, 16. C-M Chui d. Ubiali, 5, 18. Ng d Butler, 17, 16. C-S Chui d. Ubiali, 16, 19. [That’s 4-4. The missing result must be C-M Chui d. Poh, n.s.] JUNIOR WOMEN (USA 3—Canada 1): Vicki Wong d. Crystal Daniel, 15, 18. Nathalie Patel d. Michelle Mantel, 15, 24. Wong/Mantel d. Daniel/Michelle Qurrey, 18, 13.Wong d. Patel, 16, 15.

SENIOR MEN (USA 5—Canada 0): Bill Sharpe d. Emil Varden, 17, 8. George Brathwaite d. Derek Wall, 15, 12. Houshang Bozorgzadeh d. Bill Cheng, 9, 17. Brathwaite d. Varden, 13, 9. Sharpe d. Cheng, 11, 17. 

Regarding the Individual events (SPIN, Oct., 1985, 5), talk about the persistency, the murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves, this CNE Toronto Fairgrounds venue has had its own swarms of entries for a remarkable half-century now.

The $600 first-prize Men’s Singles was won in a -10, 12, 12, 15 surprisingly uncontested final by Montreal’s Alain Bourbonnais over current Canadian Champion Joe Ng. Joe, who’d beaten Alain 14, 9, 7 in the finals of the Canadian Closed last spring, had just returned from a highly creditable 11th-place $1500 finish in the World Cup at Foshen, China where he’d downed South Korea’s #1 Kim Wan and Swedish expatriate-turned Australian Champion Tommy Danielsson.

In the semi’s, Alain rallied to take out former CNE finalist Scott Boggan in five, while Joe advanced over five-time U.S. World Team Member Ricky Seemiller in four.

Ng did capture both the Men’s and Mixed Doubles. He and Bourbonnais won the Men’s after being down 10-6 in the third to Boggan and Lim Ming Chui; and he and Mariann Domonkos won in three from Boggan and Women’s U-21 winner Vicki Wong. For his two finals and a semi’s, Scott, who’d come all the way from Long Island, received (out of the $7,000 total purse) $275.

Domonkos, nine-time Canadian Closed Champion, won the Women’s Singles over her teammate, the Ottawa film animator Gloria Hsu, in straight games. The two also won the Women’s Doubles—just as earlier this year they’d won the Doubles at the far more prestigious Commonwealth Games.

Canadian Zoran “Zoki” Kosanovic, a former two-time Champion here who by the time you read this may or may not be the Ontario Provincial Coach, did not play. Nor did Horatio (“Hory”) Pintea, the 1984 Canadian Men’s titleholder. Pintea, as it were, took one computer clue too literally, a la Dungeons and Dragons, and one dark night looked exploringly where he shouldn’t have—and, oh, oh, talk about boners, ended up with a hard cast on. Poor foot. Poor Hory.

Matches of more than routine interest were: Peter Ng’s 19-in-the-4th surprise win over U-21 runner-up Scott Butler; last-year finalist David Mahabir’s 23-21-in-the-fourth squeaker over Jimmy Butler; Bobby Powell’s wins over Danny Poh (19-in-the-third) and Bert Flisberg (18-in-the-fourth); Bourbonnais’s first match, a five-gamer against Trinidad’s Wayne Estwick; and Esquire Champ Bill Sharpe’s 14, 20, -21, -15, -16 near upset of U-21 winner Bao Nguyen.

This year’s 313-entry CNE was made more interesting by the presence of several visiting Over 40 players who’d been in Toronto the week before for the every-four-years Olympic-like Masters Games. Foremost among these visitors—West Germans for the most part, contemporaries of ’69 World finalist Eberhard Schoeler—was longtime Danish Internationalist Freddy Hanson, former World Over 40 finalist.

Results: Men’s Singles: Final: Alain Bourbonnais over Joe Ng, -10, 12, 12, 15. Semi’s: Bourbonnais over Scott Boggan, -18, 13, -18, 16, 17; Ng over Ricky Seemiller, 9, 17, -18, 16. Quarter’s: Bourbonnais over George Brathwaite, 17, -11, 13, 18; Boggan over Bao Nguyen, 17, -19, 13, 18; Ng over Lim Ming Chui, 9, 11, 9; Seemiller over Freddy Hansen, 18, 17, 14. Women’s Singles: Final: Mariann Domonkos over Gloria Hsu, 16, 14, 18. Semi’s: Domonkos over Vicki Wong, 17, 21, 6; Hsu over Takako Trenholme, 6, 9, 2. Quarter’s: Domonkos over      Bye; Wong over Francine Larente, -11, 17, -21, 11, 10;  Hsu over Sophia Gorin, 20, 16, 10; Trenholme over Lucie Drouin, 7, 12, 6.

Men’s Doubles: Final: Ng/Bourbonnais over Boggan/Chui, 8, -20, 16. Semi’s: Ng/Bourbonnais over Ricky/Randy Seemiller, -20, 19, 11; Boggan/Chui over Brathwaite/Wayne Estwick, -15, 15, 13. Women’s Doubles: Final: Domonkos/Hsu over Trenholme/Wong, 18, 19. Semi’s: Domonkos/Hsu over Sangita Kamble/Larente, 9, 9; Trenholme/Wong over Jenny Daniel-Branker/Ardith Lonnon, def. Mixed Doubles: Final: Ng/Domonkos over Boggan/Wong, 7, -15, 16. Semi’s: Ng/Domonkos over Brathwaite/Trenholme, 15, 6; Boggan/Wong 18, 17 over Chris Chu/Gloria Hsu who’d escaped Scott Butler/Lonnon, -14, 19, 20.

U-2300’s: R. Seemiller over Jim Doney, 12, 13. U-2100’s: Richard Chin over Peter Ng, -13, 19, 19. U-2000’s: Torsten Pawlowski over Chi-Sun Chui, 17, -17, 13. Men’s Doubles U-2000: Stephane Lucchesi/Stephane Ubiali over C-S Chui/Mariusz Czajor, 20, 17. U-1900’s: Mike Dempsey over Kam Bhatia, 15, 19. U-1800’s: Johnny Ng over Marc-Andre Houle, -15, 10, 14. Men’s Doubles U-1800’s: J. Ng/Jimmy Yu over Ben Chow/Warren Tang, 15, 19. U-1700’s: Tong Bui over Eric Rothfleisch, -16, 15, 13. U-1600’s: William Gruenberg over Daiva Koperski, 16, 10. Men’s Doubles U-1500’s: Minh Lu/Gia Ly over Bui/Dinh Tran, 7, 8. U-1400’s: Ly over Gary Pantry, 15, 17. U-1200’s: Wilson Lin over Huu-Van Huynh, 17, 16. U-1000’s: Huynh over Anthony Brabrook, 17, -16, 16. U-800’s: Joseph Melaschenko over Kenneth Hsu, -19, -18, 15, 9, 18.   

Men’s Over 60: George Rocker over Jack Diamond, 10, 11. Men’s Over 50: Bill Sharpe over Tim Boggan, 15, -15, 11. Men’s Doubles Over 50: Boggan/Derek Wall over Sharpe/Norm Schless, 16, 16. Men’s Over 40: Freddy Hansen over Harald Todt, -18, 19, 16, -17, 16. Men’s Doubles Over 40: Hanson/Ali Elsammaa over Friedrich Rohde/Sharpe, 12, 14. Women’s Over 60: Valentina Subatnikas over Liz Hornyak, 5, 9. Women’s Over 50: Edith Santifaller over Margaret Hzeih. Women’s Over 40: Santifaller over Hzeih.

Men’s U-21: Nguyen -18, 19, 7 over Estwick, then over Scott Butler 19, -17, 20. Boys U-17: Peter Ng over Karl Berube, 12, -19, 15. Boys U-17 Doubles: P. Ng/Lin over C-M/C-S Chui, 14, 21. Boys U-15: P. Ng over Lu, 9, 14. Boys U-13: Trung Le over Lu, 17, 20.  Women’s U-21: Wong over Lonnon, 8, -14, 17. Girls U-17: Crystal Daniel over Lucie Drouin, 12, 20. Mixed Doubles U-17: P. Ng/Wong over Denis Latulipe/Claude Rouleau, def.  Girls U-15: Christine Paquet over Adriana Altic, 17, 12. 

Dave Elwood’s 220-entry $3,500 Hoosier State Open (SPIN, Oct., 1985, 18), played Labor Day-weekend at Lincoln Center in Columbus, IN, was obviously a success—the more so for $500 Open winner Scott Boggan and $60 Women’s winner Kim Farrow. Not exactly an Equal Rights prize-money payoff, you say, but consider that Women’s Doubles (won by Grace Wasielewski and Neena Patel Nordby) offered 1-2-3-4 teams (8 players) a chance to win at least some cash—and only 6 players showed. Still, $500 for the man, $60 for the woman….

Boggan advanced to final round robin Open play after a 23, -20, 13 scare in the quarter’s from New Jersey’s Barry Dattel (U-2300 winner over U-2100 winner Ake Pettersson from Lake Woebegon, MN). Sustaining attack after attack, Boggan then defeated five-time U.S. Champion Danny Seemiller and Hoosier Open Defending Champ Rey Domingo in straight games and Scott Butler in three. I personally have never seen Scott Butler play a better, more aggressive tournament than this one. On beating not Danny for second place but Rey for third, his enthusiasm was deservedly high. Perhaps some of the credit for Butler’s success can go to U.S. Team Captain Houshang Bozorgzadeh’s insistence that Scott sleep while he, Houshang, drove hour after hour in the darkness from the Thurs.-Fri.-Sat.-Sun. CNE tournament in Toronto to Columbus and Labor Day Monday, during which all eight Money events of the Hoosier Open were being played.

Riding with Houshang and the Butler brothers was Ardith Lonnon. (Why by the way isn’t she at the Resident Training Program in Colorado Springs?) Maybe she was keeping an all-night wary eye, or weary ear, on Houshang’s meanderings? For in the Women’s final round robin play, Ardith lost a 14, -15, -22 killer to Farrow, and also went down, 18 in the third, to Patel. To win the Women’s, Kim beat Neena, -12, 18, 8.

In addition to coming first in the Open, Boggan teamed with Domingo to take the $300 first prize in Doubles (an unprecedented $750 award for this event) from Danny and Perry Schwartzberg.

Though Seemiller enjoyed a relaxing round of golf with Dell Sweeris before the tournament started, it was just not gonna be a fun t.t. weekend for Danny. Even earlier, in the 30-team Two-Man Team event—which Danny and Perry won over Domingo and his promising young partner John Elwood (great experience for John, playing like an equal with such good players)—Danny lost a singles match to Rey.

Perhaps the biggest upset in the Open, or, what the hell, in any of the three-day 39 events was my 50-point win in the eighth’s over Jimmy Butler. Maybe I learned something about motivation and control from watching 14-year-old Jimmy swat the ball every which way—you’re never too old to learn, right?

Certainly I did get a lesson from Guenther Schroeder about trucking in and out Donic tables. And, oh, would such arrangements have been made for sturdy Donic barriers as well. Cardboard just doesn’t match up.

I was very pleased and grateful though that Dave Elwood, I know at some considerable personal sacrifice, rose to the occasion and put on a prize-money tournament of more than double the size and strength of his last one. I want to thank his helpers too—Rick Hardy, Warren Goesle, Mike Etheridge, Joe Shumaker, Charlie Buckley, W.K. Yeh (son 12-year-old Clark is coming along fast), Dan Wiig, Kim Farrow (nice to have a good player who’s also a helper), Bob Gilbert, Referee/umpire Jerry Button and his Chief Assistant Cindy Marcum, and all those others, especially Dave’s wife Ella, whose patient support was essential to making the tournament the great success that it was. It shows you that, if someone takes the initiative, what even a small-town club can do.

I must say too that I’ve never seen such imaginative and attractive fold-up wallet-size entry blanks. Also, I was impressed that the local Cosco Company-supported ad book could bring in $1,300. And I liked Dan Reames’ innovative idea of chummily asking each entrant to point out his hometown by pinning it on a large U.S. map as he/she checked in.

Indiana’s perennial champion Dick Hicks was missing, but it was good to see and talk to such longtime aficionados of the sport as Bernie Hock and Ed Morgan.

Very encouraging to me too was the fact that there were a good many juniors competing here. Bravo, Angie Shumaker, Sameer Uddin, Tanya Hellman, Todd Sweeris, Janine Schroeder, Jack Rudibaugh, Tryg Truelson, John Elwood, Make Lauro, and Clark Yeh.

Finally, I was glad Christian Lillieroos could offer a clinic here at Lincoln Center—and I feel it’s surely a tribute to Dan Hopper, Bill Hall, Bobby Petty and other Hoosier coaches interested in working with young players that in the U-17’s alone there were nearly 50 entries.” 

Kevin Walton gives us the Open Results from the Northern Virginia Round Robin (SPIN, Sept., 1985, 23), and—a blessing in disguise—because the National Sports Festival [played July 24-31] took away all our area’s 2200+ players, it allowed some of our lesser-known members to fight for the Open Championship without worrying about the likes of Sean O’Neill.

Top seed Larry Hodges was the Open winner. In the one preliminary round robin, Larry, undefeated, had come first, but not without some difficulty since he was sick. For most of the day he was exhausted and in some danger of having to forfeit. One of his critical matches was against Sleiman El-hallal, the #2 finisher, a consistent blocker/spinner. Finishing third to advance to the final round robin was Morris Jackson, whose long-pips flipping allowed him to beat everyone but Hodges and El-hallal.

In the other preliminary round robin, Todd Ingram came first with a 6-1 record, while Reginald Williams and Greg Chamish finished 5-2.

In the final round robin [6 players advanced—with carry-overs in effect?], Hodges overcame exhaustion to win his last two matches with steady, experienced play. El-hallal took second. And Ingram finished third by virtue of his win over Morris “I want to go home” Jackson. 

We learn (SPIN, Sept., 1985, 23) that at the Fifth Annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games, played Aug. 8-10 at the University of Maryland, Stefan Florescu, 58, Of Lincoln Park, MI, won his fifth straight table tennis title.

:Florescu was also the official torch-bearer who ignited the Ceremonial Cup during the opening ceremonies in Byrd Stadium. ‘Stef,’ a lifetime member of the USTTA, compared the joy of that moment to his 1975 induction into the National Wheelchair Games Hall of Fame. The day before the opening ceremonies, Florescu celebrated his 25th consecutive year in wheelchair sports competition.

Florescu is the founder of the Michigan Wheelchair Games and is currently serving on the Michigan Commission for the concerns of handicapped people. Florescu has been a quadriplegic since a diving accident in 1952. ‘It took me four years to get used to being in a wheelchair, but I don’t constantly think of myself as being disabled anymore. I’ve just had to subtract a few interests and add a few in their place.’ 

Burnie Douglas (SPIN, Oct., 1985, 21) covers the Loch Raven Club’s U-1700 tournament, played Sept. 15 in Towson, MD:

“Of the 51 participants in this second-ever U-1700 tournament, 16 were juniors.” Winners: U-1700: Humphrey Monticeux over Clyde Alvey and Ken Weistein. U-1500: Rodney Warner. U-2800 Doubles: Warren Wetzler/Bill Fry. U-1300: Warner. U-1100: Fry. U-900: Evan Davis. Boys/Girls U-900: Davis. U-800: Cary Schaub. U-700: Brian Horn. Handicap: Davis. U-15: Davis. U-13: David Walsh. U-11: David Allen. U-9: Allen. 

Mal Anderson (SPIN, Sept., 1985, 23) reports on the July 12th Bay State Games—which he says are “the Massachusetts state-level Olympics. Over 20 sports are involved and this was the first year table tennis was included. All five members of the Chui family participated—and all five won medals.”

Results: Men’s Singles: Final: Lim Ming Chui over Kurt Douty, 17, 12, 15. Semi’s: Chui over Liang Kakliang, 18, 13, 17; Douty over Suguru Araki, 19, 20, -20, -20, 12. Women’s Singles: Ruth Crowley over Marie Chui, n.s. Men’s Masters: Bob Oakes over Michael Reterski, -18, 16, 13, 5. 3rd: Nicholas Gangi over Kazimier Zurowski, 17, -18, 19, -17, 18. Women’s Masters: 1. Theresa Wong. Boys Scholastic: Chi-Sun Chui over Chi-Ming Chui, 19, 14, 14. 3rd: Jason Koontz over Kenny Chen, n.s. Girls Scholastic: Marta Zurowski over Kasia Zurowski, 13, 8, 20. 3rd: Jane Chui over Melissa Milton, 17, 13, 14. 

Kok Liang (SPIN, Oct., 1985, 21) tells us that Boston-area table tennis has a new home at the Tennis 128 Fitness Club in Burlington, MA. “The t.t. club here features showers, sauna, a large screen TV, and a snack bar. It ran its first tournament, the Tennis 128 Fall Open, Sept. 7-8. Four of the 12 tables were brand new Stigas and the tournament ran smoothly after David Marcus and Albert Tam took command of the control desk.

Results of the Round Robin (12 players, two groups of six): Final: Canada’s Mitch Rothfleisch and Lim Ming Chui came out of their round robins. “In the first game, Mitch, having scored via steady exchanges and loop kills, was up 19-16 and serving, but Chui rallied to win, then took the second as well. Third Place was split between Chi-Sun Chui and me, Kok.” Results of Single Elimination: although in preliminary play both the eventual finalists were upset—Lim Ming Chui (2340) by Kurt Douty (2070), and Rothfleisch (2190) by Chi-Sun Chui (1958)—they were back at it again…well, not quite; this time they split the prize money. Third was Carl Danner. Fourth, Douty. 

The Sept. 21-22 Ben Dattel Memorial Tournament (SPIN, Oct., 1985, 11) opened the ‘85/’86 season at the Westfield, NJ Club. Proud President Babe Ruth, er, Luth, points out they have nine tournaments a year. This one drew a record 168 entries—with Christian Lillieroos and Alan Feldman bringing in some new juniors on Saturday, and five-time U.S. Champ Danny Seemiller coming in on Sunday accompanied by all of his Lake Placid Resident Training Program regulars. Danny, as National Team coach, is not only getting his RTP players into shape but himself as well.

‘They’re taking good care of us up at Lake Placid,” said Danny. “They found a wooden floor for us, a place to play only two blocks from our dorm, and they’ve given us a station wagon to go to tournaments. The Program’s expensive—but it must endure. Our best players—those who are committed to practicing at least four hours a day and have the discipline to take a three-mile jog around the lake—have a much better chance of rising to a sustained level of play after months in this Program than they would have by attending the few spread out one-week camps available to them in the past.’

What’s that? No, there aren’t any women training up there with the men—at least that I know of. So, understandably, what with Vicky Wong and Jasmine Wang at the Colorado Springs Resident Training Program, and Alice Kimble much too pregnant to play competitively, the Women’s draw here was relatively weak. Winner Flora Ng, Vicky and Jasmine’s teammate at the National Sports Festival (NSF), survived a first-game scare from veteran Shazzi Felstein in the final to win (shh, I whisper the amount) $20.

Shazzi, after a two-year absence from tournament play (hernia surgery and other heavy things), was rightfully very pleased with her showing. “How wonderful,” she said, “to feel no pressure”—and so be able to beat Marta Zurowski in a Women’s quarter’s match. She also in another event surprised and upset Khoi Nguyen.

In shock, too, was Khoi’s brother and fellow Resident Training Program hopeful Khoa Nguyen (rated 2413), this year’s NSF Men’s Singles runner-up. For, in the very first round in the Open, after a carelessly-played first game, he lost a deuce-in-the third match to Pal Wessel.

Who? Wessel? Where’s he from?...Norway? “Don’t look so surprised,” said some guy. “He’s been to our last four tournaments—has an established 1999 rating. Looks a bit awkward—but he’s tenacious. Beat Bill Sharpe too, three straight.”

In another Open upset, Julian Millan downed Steven Mok, 19 in the third. “Last time I played him in ’81—he was Mo then—I beat him,” said Julian. “And this time, with all the weight I’ve lost, I thought from the beginning I had a good chance.”

The third-round match between Horace Roberts and Barry Dattel, one of the mainstays of the Westfield Club, might have been upsetting too. (It was Barry’s father, Ben, a long-time player, who was being remembered here.) Robbie, despite what he said was a recurring knee problem, moved well enough to return many of Dattel’s best warm-up shots. “Barry played well,” said Robbie on winning two straight.

Another officer of the Club, John Andrade…well, I don’t know if he even played. But I certainly was struck by the story of how he recently had been accosted in Newark, NJ’s Penn Station. Two guys came up to him when he was minding his own business and without warning stabbed him twice, then (as if they knew he was the Westfield Treasurer?) asked for his money. Poor John—he was in the hospital for a week.

Perhaps the biggest upset of the tournament occurred in the quarter’s when Brandon Olson (after icing away A winner Brian Masters) just edged out Danny Seemiller. (M’god, what’s Danny’s rating tumbled to now?) In the fourth, Brandon, up 2-1 and 20-18 got four more points—but not any one of them could win for him. In the fifth, after again seeing his end-game lead dissipate, Brandon, up 20-19 match point, poised, readied himself for Danny’s serve and pushed the return back...to catch the table edge for a winner. Lucky, yes—but for much of the match, no doubt because he’d been practicing hour after hour with Danny at Lake Placid, he seemed to know just where Danny was going to spin the ball and was right there back from the table prepared to rip in a backhand winner. Clearly, Brandon is one to profit from extensive play at Lake Placid.

In another quarter’s match, Schwartzberg beat Wessel three straight—but Pal did win the B’s in straight games from Alan Fendrick.

On the other side of the draw, 1984 Male Amateur of the Year George Brathwaite was up 2-1 at the turn over Pan Am Champ Brian Masters—but then Brian began to master “The Chief’s” slow topspin, and off-the-bounce conclusively loop-killed him.

In the last quarter’s, Rey Domingo (does anyone play more than Rey does?) was just too four-game good for U.S. Maccabiah star Eyal Adini.

In the semi’s, Schwartzberg downed Olson 3-1—which prompted some observers to say that, at 19, Brandon just didn’t have the mental toughness yet to play two straight really good matches. Maybe. Maybe not.

In the other semi’s, talk about mental toughness, about tenacity, why, Domingo, having won the first game from Masters, promptly proceeded to win the second 21-1. And then in the third was up 7-0…but why go on?

Let’s face it, the three-game final—Domingo over Schwartzberg three straight—proved that Rey (is he 40 yet?) was the fastest player at the tournament. He should have been with poor Andrade the night John got mugged. Shades of Rey’s crook-catching days in Manila: those two bullying knife-wielders wouldn’t have known what hit them. 

SELECTED NOTES.

            *I’d heard that at the ’85 World’s a Chinese coach had told our Team Captain Houshang Bozorgzadeh that Eric Boggan, who’d not distinguished himself by his play there, was not a world-class player, primarily because of his ‘incorrect’ or ‘unsuccessful’ style. But not only had Eric’s play in the last couple of years, but this year too, and most recently at this very Cup, proved that coach so wrong as to make one wonder if he’d been drinking too much mao-tai.

And speaking of Jiang Jialiang, Sue Butler, in an interview at the U.S. Open (Wiggy’s, No. 6, 1985), reported him saying some things that caught my ear. Sue asked him, “Are you treated differently in China now that you’re the world champion?” He said, “No, I’m treated just the same.” Probably he meant among his peer players and coaches. But surely not by the t.t.-minded populace. Sue then asked him, “Are the Chinese girls impressed that you are world champion?” And he answered, “Yes, even though they don’t always tell me so.”

            Sue said, “I understand that China is very strict on dating. Do you have a girlfriend?” He answered, “I can date anyone I want and I go out with lots of girls.” He also said of his time at the U.S. Open in Miami, “I like the girls on the beach.”

            “You look at your coach a lot during your matches,” said Sue. “Do you try and focus on him?” [Strange question, since the coach is not legally supposed to be giving him any guidance.] He answered, “No, I am very independent.” 

            **The 36-year-old Hans (“Hasse”) Kron had been involved for years with t.t. instruction and training in Sweden, and had just taken over as the new Swedish coach July 1. He decided on only a one-year contract; if all went well, he’d be ready to continue. Regarding his interviews with Sue Butler (SPIN, Sept., 1985, 22 and Wiggy’s, Nov. 27, 1985 ?), I was particularly interested in what he had to say about the following topics:           

            Sue wondered if, after China beat Sweden 5-0 in the World Team Championships in Gothenburg, “two more years of concentrated effort would produce a better result for them”? Kron responded, “My feeling is that we can beat China with the same players because they are not old [and Sweden WILL beat China…in 1989-’91-’93 with Waldner, Appelgren, Lindh, Persson, and Karlsson].”

“Our junior boys are very good,” said Kron, “but there is a big difference between them and national team members. Thomas Von Scheele will stay in school and it will be difficult in today’s game for him to keep up his improvement. He is an excellent student and to him and his family, education is very important. [Six years later, in 1991, Von Scheele and teammate Peter Karlsson will win the World’s Men’s Doubles.”

Kron said “Persson’s play at the World’s was disappointing because he was only thinking, ‘If I play well, I will get a German contract.’ Of course he will not win when his mind is occupied in this manner. Sometimes I wonder if the players are counting Deutsch marks during matches. They need to concentrate on table tennis.” [Also, in 1991, Persson will win the World’s Men Singles.]

            Sue asked, “When players are really into a match, is it possible for them to think on a tactical basis or do they just go to pure instinct?” Kron answered: “It depends on the player. I have different thinking on this. For example, Erik Lindh played Wu Wen-Chia in the Singles and lost. He said to me, ‘Why am I here playing when I haven’t practiced since the World Championships?’ Of course the result is going to be obvious—thinking like that, he will have to lose.

            Carlsson thinks in another way. He says, ‘I am the best player. I will win.’

            In Sweden now, it is very popular to discuss what is happening in our brains when we play table tennis.”

            “Did it make you angry as a coach,” Sue wanted to know, “to see someone of Erik Lindh’s ability down 20-3 in the second game of that match—and seeming to hit balls all over the place, just giving up?” “Usually,” said Kron, “I would be very angry, but I was thinking as I was watching. This is very bad and I have to work on it, but not now. Now is not the time to mention it. I will talk to him after the match and we will talk of it again with other players as it could have happened to them too. My idea in that situation was to help him in the next game. He lost that one too but he played better.”

            When Sue asked bluntly, “Do you have problems with some of the players on the team? Are some of them harder to motivate than others?” Kron responded, “I was told that Waldner doesn’t care what you tell him, that he doesn’t listen. But if he was different in personality, maybe he wouldn’t be so good. The same goes for Appelgren.”

            Regarding Women’s play, Kron says, “We have a half-time coach for the women, but we think that’s enough. We have separate training camps because if we practice together, the newspapers always focus on the men.” Stellan Bengtsson pointed out that “of all players in Sweden, 80% are men, 20% women.” Former Swedish coach Tomas Berner said, “In Sweden we have no problem getting the girls to start, but we do have one trying to keep them playing.”            

***Guenther Schroeder, the T.G. Enterprises Donics distributor  (SPIN, Oct., 1985, 21), has a question and an answer for you:

            “Most top players will re-glue their rubber about 12 times before switching to a new sheet. So it’s glue, glue, and more glue. Question is: What does this glue do?

            Many U.S. players have seen Europeans re-glue their rubber with ‘speed’ glue, but few understand what the purpose of re-gluing is. Well, after applying this special thin glue in heavy layers to your rubber and your blade, a reaction takes place. As long as the glue stays wet, it bubbles up, causing the sponge to thicken and soften, which alters the playing characteristics of the rubber. Speed and particularly spin is increased since the ball ‘stays’ on the racket longer. However, there is a slight loss of control. Re-glued rubbers produce a unique sound upon contact.” [Mitch Seidenfeld, in a humorous take on this new-glue approach, calls this sound a “cork” sound and the whole re-gluing process a “corking” good idea.] According to Guenther, “the re-gluing process has to be repeated every four to six hours to maintain the maxim performance effect”—and then voila! 

            Even if you’re not interested in applying this new ‘speed” glue to your racket, you should realize that for best results you’ve got to apply, well, something to it. See the adjacent “Rubber Care” article from the Nov. 6, 1985 issue of “Wiggy’s.” 

****Jim Doney tells me he has an idea that he’s expanded from a suggestion made about five years ago by Maryland’s C.J. Williams:

“We need a site in the Midwest for training table tennis players. This would be a resort featuring a 4-6-court tennis club (which would accommodate a number of t.t. tables) with a restaurant, a lake for sailing, swimming, and fishing, a camping area, jogging trails, and of course a dormitory for the table tennis athletes.

            The players at such a center could work at the restaurant and help pay for whatever expenses they may have. If the players worked together, the group could form a second family and be more motivated to help the project grow.

            What about cost? In the USTTA, there must be some players who are carpenters, electricians, architects, accountants, and many others who would be willing to work during the summer to help get the project started and help cut expenses.”

            Lots of money and many volunteers—that’s all that’s needed. 

*****Lawrence Su (SPIN, Oct., 1985, 8) elaborates on opportunities for table tennis training in Hong Kong:

            “I spent about six weeks this summer investigating table tennis in Hong Kong. I was fortunate to learn that there is a special training center, the Jubilee Sports Centre, where the Hong Kong star players, including World #7 Lo Chuen Chung, train. The JSC was designed and built a few years ago specifically as a training center for ten different sports. It is a large modern facility with dining rooms (serving both Chinese and Western food), living quarters for over 100 people, and training facilities all under one roof. The entire building is air-conditioned, which is very important in Hong Kong.

            It was even more important that my sons Larry and Bobby were allowed to train with some of the Hong Kong juniors during our visit. We also watched Lo and other team members, like Vong Iu Veng, train with their head coach, Mr. Cheng Chung-Yin. Mr. Cheng has been coaching Lo Chuen Chung for the last three years and is at least partly responsible for Hong Kong’s 11th-place finish at the last World’s. Mr. Cheng was a teammate of Coach Henan Li Ai in China during the 1960’s.

            Mr. Cheng has kindly agreed to allow me to bring a group of players, particularly juniors, to train in Hong Kong for a few weeks. Details can be worked out later, but Mr. Cheng has assured me that the cost of room, board, coaching, and use of the facilities will be around $200 a week. At present I can get round-trip flights from Detroit for about $800. For those who do not wish to stay at the Sport Centre, I may be able to arrange for them to stay at my sister’s resort condominium which is air-conditioned and has a private swimming pool.

            With the help of various VIP’s at the Landing Community College, there is a table tennis scholarship fund which, to the best of my knowledge, is the first of its kind in the country. The College will send all contributors a receipt for tax purposes and, for Michigan residents, there is a law allowing you to deduct ½ of your donation (up to $200) to any Michigan college. This means that your $100 donation to the scholarship fund may only cost you $30 or less, depending on your tax bracket.

            The Assistant and Program Director of my Department has assured me that the trip to Hong Kong can be set up as a class to take advantage of the scholarship fund. Players may be awarded scholarships to help finance their trips. In addition, because this trip will be for a class, participants will be awarded college credit, the exact amount dependent on how many hours we play in Hong Kong. [Later, I, Tim, was told that Coach Cheng was going to come to Su’s Lansing Community College in the spring and teach a one-credit class.]