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Table Tennis News and Reviews » Blog Archive » New World Record – Table Tennis 5,621 Metres over the Sea!

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  • 18Aug

    8/17/2009       

    A delegation led by Sergey Korkin climbed on top of Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. The Vice-President of the Ukraine Table Tennis Federation was not the first man to do that, but no other expedition before took along table tennis equipment.

    Sergey Korkin playing and a mountaineer in the background holding the banner to prevent the wind.  Photo By: Courtesy of Sergey Korkin / ETTU

    8/17/2009       

    On 5,621m (or 18,442 ft) not even temperatures until -15 degrees Celsius (5 °F) in the shadow and wind up to 20 metres per second (72km/h or 45mph) could stop them. They picked up their paddles and played table tennis!

    About the Expedition
    At the beginning, 15 people started the adventure to the east summit of Mount Elbrus, located in the western Caucasus mountain range in Russia. Eventually nine of them reached to climb the Elbrus and built up the table.

    “We have made a unique tennis table for this project, a self-assembly table which consists of 16 units from light material”, Sergey Korkin told the ITTF about the project.

    Match in the Crater of the Dead Volcano
    Although the west summit would have been even a little bit higher, the east summit was chosen for this expedition. “We chose this summit as there was no place to hide on the west summit”, said Korkin, the brain of the project.

    “So we held a match in a crater of the dead volcano on the east summit of Mt. Elbrus. During the match, table and players were protected from wind from one side by a cliff and from the other side by banners that were kept by the other participants.” Thanks to the cliffs and the banners, the players hardly felt the wind.

    Sport with Few Oxygen
    The circumstances for the players were extremely difficult. “The clothes was not the main problem at all. The main difficulty was to play tennis in highlands conditions. Every abrupt movement took a lot of efforts, so it was even difficult to bend for ball on the ground.”

    In spite of the enthusiasm, Sergey Korkin remains self-critical. “As an expedition leader I am happy we managed to break the record and to meet our ambitious target. But as a main person I clearly see all mistakes we made during preparations. Also I suppose that luck was a big part necessary to manage the record.”

    No Age and No Place Restrictions
    To top this record will be a tough task, maybe one day men play table tennis on the moon. “We showed that there is a possibility to play table tennis under every possible and impossible condition, and that there is not only no age but also no place restrictions for table tennis lovers.”

    Korkin’s message realising his dream is simple. “After our expedition I want to tell everyone: ‘Table tennis is a game for everyone and everywhere!’”

    More pictures and reports from the expedition are on the project website http://tenniselbrus.org/eng/index.htm

    Source: ittf.com

    Posted by ttfan @ 9:25 am

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