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Memorable Moment for Italy but Thoughts Back Home with Elisa Trotti


An impressive performance, recently Italy won the Junior Boys’ Team title at the 2016 European Youth Championships in Zagreb, Croatia; on Tuesday 12th July, the players with coach, Lorenzo Nannoni, stood proudly on the top step of the podium.

Delighted with their success but their thoughts were elsewhere; their thoughts were back home, whilst common practice would have been to display the national flag, they displayed the banner “Forza Elisa”.

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The Burning Question for Rio: Will Zhang Jike Defend his Title? Ask Him


A place in the forthcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games; will China’s Zhang Jike defend his Men’s Singles in the Brazilian city, with only two players per National Committee eligible to compete in the event in the prestigious multi-sport gathering, it is very much the burning question.

No player has ever retained the title four years later; in fact the only player to gain a medal in the Men’s Singles event in consecutive Olympic Games is Zhang Jike’s mentor, Liu Guoliang.

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Fighting for the Cause, the Team Player, Sayaka Hirano Bids Farewell


Winner of the Junior Girls’ Singles title at the Spanish Junior and Cadet Open in 2002, the very first year of the ITTF Junior Circuit, Mikihouse has announced that Japan’s Sayaka Hirano intends to retire from competitive play.

Currently she is competing in the Tokyo Open which commenced on Wednesday 16th March and concludes on Sunday 20th March; the Japanese League tournament on Saturday 9th April will be her farewell.

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Michael Maze Announces Retirement, Injuries Force End to International Career


Crowned European champion in Stuttgart in 2009, having won the Cadet Boys’ Singles title at the European Youth Championships in 1996 in Frydek-Mistek and then two years later, securing the Junior Boys’ Singles crown in the same Czech Republic town, Denmark’s Michael Maze has announced his retirement from international competition.

Recurring injuries are the reason the 34 year old has been required to make the regretful decision.

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Ask A Pro Anything: Chuang Chih-Yuan is Latest Subject


Note the names for the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, note the names for the Men’s World Cup and one name throughout this century appears time and time again.

It is the name of Chuang Chih-Yuan. He has led the cause of Chinese Taipei in every conceivable major event throughout this century; whether it be the Olympic Games, the Asian Games or the World Championships, his name is written on the team sheet, the rest are added later.

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Off the Table: Meet Jun Mizutani, Japan’s Leading Name


A second round exit in the Boys’ Singles event at the inaugural World Junior Championships in the Chilean capital city of Santiago in 2003; after overcoming Brazil’s Cazuo Matsumoto, he was beaten by Korea’s Cho Eonrae, the eventual runner up.

However, Japan’s Jun Mizutani had announced his arrival on the global scene; now since October 2007, his name has always appeared in the top 40 on the Men’s World Rankings and since January 2012, a period of five years, always amongst top 12, the very elite.

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Royal Welcome for Jean-Michel Saive, Audience with King Philippe


A royal welcome was the order of the day for Jean-Michel Saive on Tuesday 5th January; he met with King Philippe of the Belgians for one hour.

Christmas may now have passed but, the 46 year old who recently announced his retirement from international play, did not arrive empty handed at the Palace, he was a bearer of gifts.

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Look Back and Smile, the Best of Ask a Pro Anything


Intense competition in the table tennis arenas of the world from the beginning to the end of the year but now for many it is the holiday period, whilst Christmas has a deep religious meaning it is also a time for reflection and relaxation.

Players, coaches and administrators can take a well-earned break, raise a glass and also raise a smile.

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Belgian Legend Calls Time, Jean-Michel Saive Announces International Retirement


A career that gives him the status as one if the true legends of sport; now 46 years old, Belgium’s Jean-Michel Saive has decided to retire from international competitive play.

He made the announcement at a specially organised press conference held at the National Olympic Committee Headquarters in Brussels on Thursday 3rd December; the announcement was made in the presence of Pierre-Olivier Beckers, the President of the Belgian National Olympic Committee and Roland Delhoux, Chair of the Royal Belgian Table Tennis Federation.

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