27 Jan 2017

It is with great sadness that the death of Pierre Albertini is announced; he passed away on the morning of Friday 27th January following a fall at his home in Conches, a suburb of Paris located in the Seine et Marne department.

He was 75 years old.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

A proud member of the French Table Tennis Federation, he assumed the post of National Technical Director in 1986, a position he held until 1992 when he became President of the French Table Tennis Federation.

Eight year laters, he relinquished the post in 2000 having been elected Deputy President of the International Table Tennis at the 1999 World Championships in Eindhoven, he held the office until 2005.

Additionally, he was Vice President of the European Table Tennis Union from 1996 to 2000.

It was very much during his tenure of office that France climbed to unprecedented heights; Jean-Philippe Gatien, silver medallist at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, World Champion one year later in Gothenburg, ignited a new era.

Undoubtedly those feats motivated Pierre-Albertini; well aware that the likes of Patrick Chila, Damien Eloi and Christophe Legout could be added to list, he realised that he had a squad of world class players in his midst.

It was a major opportunity to promote the sport of table tennis France. Thus for three consecutive years, commencing in 1995, the Perrier Men’s World Cup was staged in Nîmes; the only occasion when the competition has been held in the same city in consecutive years.

“We will always remember Pierre as a visionary, a leader, and a man of strong determination and conviction. I personally learned a lot from Pierre and fully respected his sports philosophy”, Adham Sharara, ITTF President (1999-2014), ITTF Chairman (2014-Present)

Moreover, it was not only in the sport of table tennis where Pierre Albertini played prominent roles.

At departmental and regional level he held posts in athletics, cycling, gymnastics, volleyball and weightlifting but it was in the judo arena that he excelled.

An eighth dan, one of the highest Judo ratings, he was a member of the French National Team from 1965 to 1973; he was four times the national champion, twice the universities champion.

Additionally, he was a bronze medallist at the European Championships and World University Championships; most pertinently he competed in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

Highly qualified, the positions which Pierre Albertini held in sport, are seemingly endless. He was administrator, advisor, athlete, chef de mission, coach et al; in whatever role he assumed, he was dedicated to the cause.

The outcome was that on Sunday 14th July 2013, he received one of the highest accolades his country could offer; he was awarded the Chevalier dans l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur.

However, for me, I have one abiding memory of Pierre Albertini; a warm smile, a welcoming smile but always his jacket, usually a light brown colour, draped across his shoulders, never his arms in the sleeves. It was his hallmark; it is now his epitaph.

Our condolences to his wife Renée and family; Pierre Albertini is sadly missed.

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