By Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
It will be the third time that the tournament has been staged in Budapest, the city also hosted the event in 1982; notably on both occasions Hungary enjoyed success.
In 1958 Zoltan Berczik won the Men’s Singles title beating colleague, Elemer Gyetvai in the final; the two having lined up earlier in the tournament alongside Zoltan Bubonyi, Laszlo Foldy and Ferenc Sido to win the Men’s Team competition.
Additionally, Eva Koczian won the Women’s Singles event, beating England’s Ann Haydon in the final. Meanwhile, Zoltan Berczik joined forces with Gizi Lantos, better known as Gizi Farkas, to secure the Mixed Doubles title. At the final hurdle they beat Ferenc Sido and Eva Koczian.
Later in 1982, Hungary won both the Men’s Team and Women’s Team titles. Principally selecting the legendary trio of Gabor Gergely, Istvan Jonyer and Tibor Klampar with Zsolt Kriston and Janos Molnar in support, the Men’s Team title was secured. Similarly, with Beatrix Kishazi, Zsuzsa Olah, Gabriella Szabo and Edit Urban on duty, the Women’s Team title was claimed.
However, for the host nation there was to be no gold in the individual events, the nearest was in the Men’s Doubles when Istvan Jonyer and Gabor Gergely finished in runners up spot. They were beaten in the final by Dragutin Surbek and Zoran Kalinic, in those days representing Yugoslavia.
It is on the individual events that the focus is centred in 2016; there are no team events on the schedule.
Notably for the first time since Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic and Ruta Paskauskiene won in Belgrade in 2007, alongside Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles is once again on the schedule.
Also, alongside the tournament, the Congress of the European Table Tennis Union will be held on Wednesday 19th October 2016 in the Danubius Hotel Flamenco in Budapest.