by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
After accounting for Germany’s Petra Jenisch and Tatjana Michajlova in a most impressive manner (11-4, 11-5, 11-6), they secured the Women’s Doubles 45 Years title at the 2018 World Veteran Championships, beating Peru’s Milagritos Gorriti and Magali Montes in a tension packed final, decided by the very minimal of margins (6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9).
Sitting courtside advising was Iulia Necula, the former Romanian international who received a taste of the medicine she has delivered to coaches in her playing days.
“They really deserved to win; I felt more nervous coaching than playing myself. The final was exciting, hard won points and long rallies. It was a mixture of happiness and relief when they won.” Iulia Necula
No doubt there was also a feeling of satisfaction for Iulia Necula, who is the ITTF Player Services and TTX Marketing Manager, as she guided the ITTF Executive Vice President and Danish colleague to victory.
“They played very well together; they were very consistent throughout the entire event, Pia attacking and Petra controlling and blocking. They knew the final would be difficult. They were leading two games to one and 7-1 but lost that game; then the fifth game was very close.” Iulia Necula
Success for Petra Sörling and Pia Toelhoj; furthermore they were in illustrious company.
“For me it is very special to win and share this title together with Pia as we have been very good friends from childhood. The preparation for me was worse than with injuries, no USA visa; I got the visa with big support from USA Table Tennis only three hours before departure to Beijing. It was because of my North Korea trip just before. However with 24 hours travel and a 16 hour time difference the event started in Vegas with a flexible mindset, the best doubles partner in Pia and best coach Iulia. Really enjoyable to play this veteran championship; it is a true example of our vision Table Tennis For All For Life.” Petra Sörling
“We have been friends since Petra was 10 years old and I was 14; we met at a training camp in Sweden. Since then we have been parts of each other’s livese; so to win the doubles and share the magic with your best friend that must be the best. We played as you know with a high level of focus and only lost only four ganes. We played our best and managed to keep a high tactical level. It feels unreal but we prepared and we got the medals. I am very proud of this performance and so thankful for having Petra and my new coach, Iulia, s a part of the life.” Pia Toelhoj
The counterpart Men’s Doubles 45 Years was won by the combination of Austria’s Chen Weixing and Germany’s Jörg Rosskopf; the Men’s Doubles 50 Years by Sweden’s Erik Lindh and Jörgen Persson.
Furthermore, in the winners of Women’s Doubles 50 Years presented a notable name; Tong Feiming, winner of the Women’s Singles title at the 1997 English Open, partnered Chinese Taipei colleague, Lin Li-Ju to victory.
2018 World Veteran Championships: List of Players
2018 World Veteran Championships: Results and Draws