Apr 28. László Pignicki: The game has accelerated and changed
In addition to spectators and celebrities, the legendary figures of the sport also watch the Liebherr Liebherr 2019 World Table Tennis Championships at the venue. This time it was László Pignicki, the last living member of the Hungarian team that won the silver medal at the 1959 world championships in Dortmund, who appeared at the stands.
“I was fighting for the Hungarian team in 1959 in Dortmund. There were five of us in the national squad: Ferenc Sidó, László Földy, Zoltán Bercik, Zoltán Bubonyi and me. I played throughout the competition, but I did not participate the final. We won the silver medal in the end. Unfortunately I am the last living member from that team.”
During his career, László Pignicki won a couples silver medal in the European Championships and finished fourth in the Olympics, while he won the European Champion Clubs’ Cup with Spartacus. He didn’t win a gold in singles, but apparently it doesn’t bother him.
“I have reached the final in several international competitions, but I was not able to win any of them” – said László Pilicki with a broad smile on his face.
The 81 year-old legend did not only play, but managed as well. From 1961 to 1974, he worked as a coach while he was still an active player. From 1974 to 2010, after his retirement from table tennis he worked as a head coach, and among others he led the senior and the youth national teams of Hungary.
“I achieved more as a head coach. I managed the Hungarian men’s national team for four years, while we have had success with the national youth squad as well. Working for Spartacus, I raised half of the youth national squad.” – said László Pignicki, one of the last Hungarian head coaches of our beloved sport who won medals with the senior and the youth team as well in international competitions.
Pignicki, who was born in Budapest, has not been an active part of ping-pong for nine years, and he believes that the world of table tennis has changed a lot:
“It can’t be compared in speed and physicality. The game has accelerated and changed throughout the years due to the surface, the body and the material of the racket.”