Improving Women's Table Tennis in Europe

Rowden Fullen 2009

Csilla Batorfi (HUN) Italian national women’s team coach, former European Champion in singles

We have big problems as Asia and China are very strong. Our greatest problem is that there are a very few women in Europe who are playing table tennis seriously. There are simply not enough players that we can make a good selection from.

Asia and Europe

Rowden Fullen 2010

At one time Europe dominated our sport of table tennis. Over a period of 18 World Championships 1926 up till 1952 (H. Satoh, Japan) no Asian player featured in a World final and it was only eventually in 1956, on the women’s side, that an Asian woman won the singles (T. Okawa, Japan)(and bear in mind too that the Worlds was held yearly at this time, except for a gap of seven years during World War Two). However from 1954 to date only a handful of Europeans have won the men’s singles (1971 Bengtsson, 1975 Jonyer, 1989 and 1997 Waldner, 1991 Persson, 1993 Gatien, 2003 Schlager) and no women after 1955. A damning indictment of European table tennis and especially of the women’s game.

What stops us from winning?

Rowden Fullen 2010

Internal Restrictions

How many of us really believe we can get somewhere and are prepared to put in the effort to do this? In our modern society the single-minded specialist is not often thought of very highly. People who don’t conform, don’t fit in and are different from the rest are not popular. Even for those who start off being committed to a project it is all too easy to gradually drift, to procrastinate and to accept lesser levels of achievement. It’s very human to take the easy road.

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