Original Four

By now it is one fine ITTF GJP tradition to pay a visit to one of the original GJC organizers – the Safir Table Tennis Club in Örebro.

strong>Once you kind of hit mid February – the shivers start coming and like a letter in the mail the program-book arrives from the tournament director Lars Elwin and his crew. Nothing else to do – other than following the call of the mighty God of Table Tennis and book your trip to Örebro . For years that trip involved a lengthy trip overseas from Ottawa to Sweden . Not so any more . This morning I took the 1031 train from Halmstad with the arrival set four hours later . Easy ride had it not been for the fact that my laptop is taking a nap on my office desk – and here i am riding the train .

Good practice though to put away the computer and circulate among coaches and players on the floor for a few days . It is quite clear that the Safir event holds the fort quite well as one of the toughest tests on the junior circuit . To win here you need to be absolutely on top of your game – and walk the walk in the footprints of some great talents , once crowned winners in the Safir’s event and later to become world class athletes. Who can forget a young Kenta Matsudaira executing his axe-serve with perfection , hardly being able to see over the table surface or the tiny – yet brilliantly talented Jun Mizutani doing his tricks back in the early goings of the junior programme.

But all that is history . Reality is that since all the roads and rails in Sweden this time of the year lead to Idrottshuset in Örebro – even a simple , forgetful Senior Consultant will eventually found his way home .

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