11 Oct 2019

Supported by the ITTF Foundation’s TT4Health Programme, very much the underlining theme at the 2019 World Parkinson’s Championships is one of the human endeavor; it is where goodwill, understanding and well-being are at the vanguard.

However, make no mistake the competitive element is not missing, for the tournament that starts on Saturday 12th October, players are in Pleasantville, New York at the Westchester Table Tennis Club to win! A medal is a precious commodity.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

None more does the theme apply than to the contingent from Germany, true to the best traditions for which the country has the highest reputation, a well organised group of players is present.

Hailing from the cities of Frankfurt, Berlin, Nordhorn, Neumünster and Grassel; the group comprises Thorsten Boomhuis, Harry Wissler, Jens Greve and Andreas Arndt. In addition and most importantly Hilmar Heinrichmeyer and Frank Plangemann are both present; they are both coaches, Hilmar Heinrichmeyer also being the Chair of the Ranking Committee for the German Table Tennis Federation.

“I’ve played table tennis for nearly 40 years, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013; for sure I have no doubt that table tennis helps.” Thorsten Boomhuis

Clearly all members of the group are delighted to be in New York, a challenge awaits but already they met one challenge.

“Financing the trip was difficult but we managed to acquire a sponsor.” Thorsten Boomhuis

RKM-Arens Anlagenbau GmbH, based in Twist in Germany with branches in Munster and Essen, an industrial plant construction company alongside Schweisstechnik Kenn, involved in the welding industry business are the major supporters in question. Also there is support from UPM Services Inc and Grafschaft-Beratung Strohm und Partner mbB, a consulting company.

“I am very pleased that Thorsten is here and able to play; most here are veteran players, it’s good to see players from Asia coming to compete. Moreover we have all enjoyed a very warm welcome here in Westchester; we are looking forward to the tournament.” Hilmar Heinrichmeyer

Now can any member of the squad match Steffen Fetzner and Jörg Rosskopf, the only German men to be anointed world champions when they won the men’s doubles title in Dortmund in 1989?


Can Thorsten Boomhuis, Harry Wissler, Jens Greve and Andreas Arndt follow in illustrious footsteps?

My feeling is that there is a very determined group present; at the Westchester Club it’s serious business.

2019 ITTF Parkinson's World Championships ITTF Foundation

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Day 3 - 2019 ITTF Parkinson's World Championships