Mar 13. On the top again
The Hungarian Table Tennis Association decided to celebrate those Hungarian players who came home with a bunch of medals from the European Championships in 1978, with some rides on the big wheel.
The players who were the members of the national team 41 years ago reunited in front of the Budapest Eye which stands at the Erzsébet Square. During the first part of the program the former legends took several rides on the big wheel, but there was someone who opted not to use this opportunity.
„I had been on the top already, but now I do not want to be there. The wind blows quite hard, that cabin flickers a lot, so thanks, but I would rather just watch from down here. I have never had any problems standing next to the table and play in front of thousands of people, but this does scare me” – confessed Gabriella Szabó, who together with Beatrix Kisházi, Zsuzsa Oláh and with Judit Magos – who passed away last year – won the women’s team event at the European Championships of Duisburg in 1978, and she also won two silver medals, one in women’s doubles with Magos, and the other in mixed doubles with Klampár.
There was no sign of fear on István Jónyer’s face, who won a silver in men’s singles and a gold medal in the men’s team competition 41 years ago: „I have been everywhere from the Eiffel Tower to the Empire State Building in New York, so speed and heights does not scare me at all.”
After the ride on the big wheel, at a nearby place they continued to recall the memories during a festive lunch. The former legends even got table tennis paddles as a present, and of course, the cake could not miss from there either. Tibor Klampár’s new paddler will not be put in a cabinet.
„We got these very nice paddlers from the man who fabricates the Palatinus rackets – complimented Tibor Klampár the work of Róbert Palatinus. – I really hope that they are just as good as good looking. I do not want to play a lot with it, but I think I will put a rubber on it and give it a try.”
Besides the Jónyer-Gergely-Klampár trio, there was in the gold winning team Tibor Kreisz as well, who was only 19 years old back then.
„I was surprised by this invitation, I was expecting it at the 40th anniversary, not at the 41st, but it really feels good, it was good to remember the matches. Especially for me, as it was my first European Championships, and I finished as third in men’s singles, and won a gold medal in the men’s team event, moreover, I also beat the Czech Milan Orlowski, who was the bugbear of the Hungarian players, so I helped out the others with this victory.”
We can meet with the former European and World Champion defensive player at the WCh in Budapest as well.
„This is going to be the first time for me to watch a World Championships, as so far I participated at them as a competitor – continued Tibor Kreisz. – I moved apart a bit from this sport, but as it will be held here, of course, I will go and watch it.”