Li Qiwei, former member of the Chinese National Men's Team, one of several notable names in action
Photo By: Courtesy of David Gustafsson
2012 World Veteran Championships
The marathon is 26 miles and 385 yards or in metric 42.195 kilometres.
At the World Veteran Championships it is not quite the distance you may have to cover the win either the Menís Singles 40-49 years or the Menís 50-59 years title. However, you might have to come close to the distance fable tells that the Greek soldier Pheidippides, ran with a message from the Battle of Marathon to Athens.
After three days of competition 396 players remain in the Menís Singles 40-49 years event and 439 in the Men's Singles 50-59 class!
World Veteran Championships 2012: Updated Results
That is ten rounds to win the title!
Spare a thought for the runner up!
Well a table tennis match is like boxing; a fight between two people.
Names of Note
Furthermore, there are some notable names in those numbers.
Belgiumís Philippe Saive, who alongside elder brother Jean-Mi, lifted Belgium from the doldrums to unprecedented heights and competed in no less than 15 World Championships, is the top seed amongst the juniors.
In World Veteran terms 40 years of age is akin to kindergarten.
Plethora of Stars
A notable name in the Menís Singles 40-49 class and in the Menís Singles 50-59 category it is the whoís who of table tennis.
There is a plethora of players who have represented their country with pride at the prestigious tournament; some having moved to pastures new.
There is Chinaís Wang Yansheng who later played for Norway and now represents Germany.
Similarly there is Chinaís Lu Qiwei who moved to Australia, Denmarkís Lars Hauth, Bulgariaís Mariano Loukov and in Hungaryís Janos Takacs, a name with a special place in World Championships history.
Alongside Istvan Jonyer, Tibor Klampar, Gabor Gergely and Tibor Kreisz; he was a member of the famous Hungarian squad who won the Menís Team title at the World Championships in Pyongyang in 1979.
Not only did they win the title, they beat China twice to achieve the feat!
More Celebrated Names
Furthermore the Czech Republicís Miroslav Cecava is on duty in the Menís Singles 50-59 years class; the winner of the Menís Singles 40-49 years category on no less than three occasions.
Celebrated visitors and of course there is one Swede who must not be forgotten.
Mikael Appelgren, winner of four World Championships gold medals but not in a seeded place in the main draw. The reason is that he finished in second place in his group losing by the very narrowest of margins in the decisive seventh game to Lu Qiwei.
Meanwhile in the Menís Singles 60-64 years class, 142 players remain with 27 being from Sweden, GŲran Skogsberg and Arvi Grapenhed being the host nationís leading names in the category.
However, there is one name in the class that particularly catches the eye.
Australiaís Paul Pinkewich, who competed in no less than nine World Championships between 1967 and 1987 is in action.
A name to note from Oceania but in the Menís Singles 65-69 years category, it is European names who are prime challengers for honours.
Germanyís Wilfried Lieck, winner of the Menís Singles 50-59 years class in 1998, is the top seed and defending champion. He is the favourite to retain the title but he has a most worthy challenger; furthermore, the challenge may come in the final.
Denmarkís Niels Ramberg, who represented Denmark at six World Championships between 1965 and 1977, is always a formidable adversary.
A defTitle Defended
ending champion in the Menís Singles 65-69 years category and it is the same scenario one age group higher.
Germanyís Horst Langer is seeking to make it two in a row in the Menís Singles 70-74 yearsí category but as an all events there is strong opposition.
Swedenís Bo Thorinsson and Germanyís Dieter Lippelt, the 2008 champion, are formidable opponents.
Fierce competition in the Menís Singles 70-74 yearsí category and it is the same in the Menís Singles 75-79 yearsí event
The host nationís Ingvar Johnsson is a name to note as is that of the Czech Republicís Josef Rakosnik. Also, Japanís Kazuo Masuda Germanyís Peter Stoltenburg are strong contenders.
Englishmen with Medal Hopes
Meanwhile, in the Menís Singles 80-84 years category, where 32 players remain, Englandís Fred Lockwood is the most notable name.
He won the Menís Singles 75-79 years, event in 2008.
Swedenís Uno Hedin of Sweden who won the Menís Singles 50-59 years event in 1982 in the inaugural year of the World Veteran Championships is a worthy challenger to the Englishman, as are Germanyís Friedrich RŲssler and Rolf Gross, the top two seeds.
Host Nation Contender
A challenge from Sweden but in the Menís Singles Over 85 event, the host nation starts as favourite.
Curt ÷sterholm is the player on whom local eyes focus. He won the Menís Singles 70-74 class in 1996 and 2000. He is no stranger to winning and neither is the Czech Republicís Lumir Ruzha who may well provide the Swede with the sternest test.
He won the Menís Singles 80-84 class in 2008.