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Table Tennis News and Reviews » Blog Archive » Learning from Experience, the Opportunity in Tunis

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  • 14May

    Poland’s Leszek Kucharski was the expert on duty for a well attended ITTF Training Camp, staged in Tunis from Monday 26th to Wednesday 28th April, prior to the Tunisia Junior Open; a tournament which attracted 34 teams with players travelling from Asia and Europe as well as from the host continent Africa.

    A total of 45 boys and 38 girls took part and all left wiser from the advice administered by a player who progressed from being a promising junior to a senior of high repute. He is well aware of the pitfalls that face young players as they strive to straddle the canyon between promising junior and established senior international.

    European Youth Champion
    Simply consider the career of Leszek Kucharski; in 1977 he won the Boys’ Singles title at the European Youth Championships; 12 years later in partnership with Zoran Kalinic he was the runner up in the Men’s Doubles event at the 1989 World Championships in Dortmund.

    At the final hurdle the pair lost to the host nation’s Steffen Fetzner and Jörg Rosskopf. In the space of 12 years, Leszek Kucharski had matured into a fine player, he had straddled the divide but what of his contemporaries?

    Contemporaries
    At the 1977 European Youth Championships he beat Yugoslavia’s Iztok Frank in the final; Iztok Frank never progressed to succeed at senior level.

    Equally, consider the Cadet Boys’ Singles final at the European Youth Championships in 1977 and it very much proves that there is little correlation between success at cadet level in such events and senior acclaim.

    Swedish Superstars
    Sweden proved the winner, Kent Christiansson; in the final he beat Spain’s Jose Maria Pales. The latter established himself as one of Spain’s leading players but beyond Iberian shores his record was not one to catch the imagination.

    Similarly, Kent Christiansson never advanced but he did have a problem, Erik Lindh, Jörgen Persson and a certain Jan-Ove Waldner appeared on the scene; a golden age of Swedish table tennis was about to begin.

    Andrzej

    Equally, Poland became a force and forever the name of Leszek Kucharski is associated with team mate, the late Andrzej Grubba. I hear the name Kucharski, immediately I hear the name Grubba; and therein lies the lesson.

    Andrzej Grubba never ever reached a singles final at the European Youth Championships; yet on the senior stage, he was the man the crowds flocked to see. The memories live on, they do not linger.

    Enthralling Stories
    Not doubt Leszek Kucharski has many stories he could relate to the young players who attended the ITTF Training Camp in Tunis about Andrzej Grubba and no doubt from those words and his experience those in attendance will be even richer.

    Leszek Kucharski bridged the gap; now that is the task of those currently performing on the ITTF Junior Circuit.

    Leszek Kucharski with coaches (left) and players (right).
    Photos courtesy of Leszek Kucharski

    Source: ittf.com

    Posted by ttfan @ 4:59 pm

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