29 Apr 2017

The defensive skills of Panagiotis Gionis of Greece against the fast left handed topspin attacking attributes of Frenchman, Christophe Legout, the man who sensationally beat Wang Liqin at the 2008 ITTF World Tour Kuwait when the Chinese legend was in his pomp, is the contest that will start proceedings in the ITTF Legends Tour tournament this evening, Friday 29th April in the French city of Metz.

An intriguing contest an there is more to follow; much more.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

China Jiang Jialiang versus Sweden’s Jörgen Persson is the next match on the agenda, two World champions meet; one with a style that signalled the end of an era, one that cemented the technique of the new.

Crowned World champion in 1985 in Gothenburg, the title retained two years later in New Delhi, Jiang Jialiang was last of the Asian masters to adopt successfully the fast pen-hold grip close to the table machine gun precision attacking style. Conversely, as power prevailed, Jörgen Persson took a step back, strong top spin play and a backhand to bury holes in the court surrounds saw him anointed World champion in 1991 in Chiba.

Awaiting the winner of Christophe Legout and Panagiotis Gionis at the semi-final stage is Germany’s Jörg Rosskof, crowned European champion in 1992 in Stuttgart and winner of the Men’s World Cup in 1998 in the Chinese city of Shantou.

Meanwhile for the victor in the contest of the World champions, the 1994 European champion awaits; the idol of Belgium, Jean-Michel Saive.

In Metz the crowd, no doubt packed to the rafters will pay homage; cries of Jean-Mi, Jean-Mi, Jean-Mi will no doubt echo loudly.

A possible winner; we have to wait and see, watch the action unfold on Metz, watch the legends ply their skills…………………….

ITTF Legends Tour 2017 ITTF Legends - Metz Panagiotis Gionis Jörgen Persson Jean-Michel Saive Jiang Jialiang Jörg Rosskof Christophe Lergout