Another one of those days at the Frankfurt airport . Pretty much knows this place by now having spent numerous hours here waiting for flights to cross the Atlantic sea.
Spent the whole afternoon and late evening yesterday in the Porsche Arena watching matches and speaking to friends and colleagues. I had the Danish Media Guru Arne Madsen by my side in the press box. Arne will in a few weeks face a bit of challenge as the press officer in charge for the IOC congress in Copenhagen… 1200 journalists are accredited !!
Now .. just a few comments based on the play action in Stuttgart. I am working on a longer column relating to European Table Tennis having seen actually three Euro championships in a row during the last two months.. Pretty unique sequence and i do have some good material and thoughts to communicate.
Deutchland Uber Alles..; Always a good rousy crowd at events in Germany. No difference this time and you have to admire the relentless cheering and enthusiams.. In that regard few officials in lets a higher position are more energetic than the chair of German Table Tennis and ITTF Executive committee member Mr Thomas Weikert. He is on top of the action ! Always ready to provide positive reinforcements to his players and coaches from the stand. Yesterday he gave his double pair (Boll and Suss) as well as Ruwen Filius a standing ovation for their work in the courts. Refreshing leadership i have to say and fun to watch !
The Performance of 18-year-old Margaryta Pesotska from Ukraine is at this point ( in the finals vs Wu from GER) on of the most positive thing that could have happen to European women’s Table Tennis. I have during the last few days intensified my efforts to get her to come to Colombia and the World Junior Championships in December – last year she missed the event in Madrid due to injury. It is not easy with financial short comings and the lack off clear communication lines. Anyway – as said before she played in Stuttgart with the perfect poise and self-confidence. I am also impressed by her tactical sense versus different styles…Nothing against Wu from Germany – but i hope next time i open my computer back home in Ottawa that Pesotska is the new European champion.. Dare to win !
Looks like Michael Maze from Denmark in the Mens singles..(On his way to the final as we speak.. ) It was nice to chat a bit with Maze in the training hall before the match yesterday evening.. he had a good smile , looked upbeat and ready to go… Physically he is MUCH, MUCH better.. I think that is the main factor behind his newborn enthusiasm and self-confidence. Well done and congrats..
Also in the training hall yesterday evening, almost empty luckily enough, a match or a set between Erik Lind from Sweden and his national coach colleague from France Patric Birocheau..Ulf Tickan Carlsson (in Stuttgart as the assistant coach for Sweden) complained loudly over the playing quality in display.. I sense to agree with Carlsson – from my angle the rallies were not too long.. But once , almost in a previous life these guys could do it pretty good..
Thats all for now..Just waiting for Maze to wrap it up before i head to the gate…