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2010 CT. Senior Games held May 16th

A field of 15 players , from just barely 50, to 84 years young came to Middletown on a nice Sunday in mid-May for the 2010 Connecticut Senior Games Table Tennis Championships.

Players were grouped by age and gender, including 4 ladies competing for senior women's titles, and a group of 4 'barely' Seniors, including John Guzze of Kensington and  Middletown regulars Rene, Cesare and Chris, most competing for the first time in these games in the men's 50 to 54 category, 'vacated' this year by Previous champ Dave Strang moving up to the 55-59 category where he was joined by Steve Knotts.

Fairfield TTC was also well represented by players including Michael Lazerev, Lauren Olin and Jeff Von Kohorn.

More Veteran participants included Richard Castiglione who, now in the 70-74 group hasn't missed a Senior Games TT event in over 15 years, joined by John McCray and Trevor Prescod

Francis Grimaldi was the most senior of the Seniors , in the 80-84 group.

Medalists in all age groups qualify for the National Senior Games event in Houston, June 2011

http://www.houstonsports.org/media/news/114/    http://www.nsga.com/aug-26-2006-2011-senior-olympics-head-houston-tx 

Medal Results will be listed ASAP linked at :








Earlier Year's Games Photos and results are available after other articles on this page.
CT TT A Home
AARP Endorses Table Tennis
By Susan Brownmiller
Photographs by Nick Cardillicchio
From May-June 2001, My Generation
an AARP publication

Catharina Tjiook


Catharina Tjiook, a former
Ping-Pong champion from
Indonesia, fires off a shot.



Many Happy Returns

Which childhood pastime turns out to be good for your heart and your head? Ping-Pong, of course.

I rediscovered the game of Ping-Pong five years ago on a cruise ship visiting ports of call in the South China Sea. On the last day aboard, I wandered into the ship's gym, where I beheld a sagging net and a paddle - a nostalgic sight.

Corralling a crew member, I swatted and slammed, lurched and slid, giggled and missed and was struck by a revelation. Missing from my bookish, workaholic life for 30 years were the absolute joy and great waves of laughter that accompany the silly and serious act of batting a featherweight sphere across a table. When I returned to New York, I looked up "Ping-Pong" in the Yellow Pages and found nada. "Table Tennis" - also nada. I struck gold under "Billiards." In the small print of a display ad for a pool hall and billiards parlor, I read the words "TABLE TENNIS/PROFESSIONAL COACHING". "Are the coaches for pool or for Ping-Pong?" I asked on the phone. "For Ping-Pong, of course," came the gruff reply.

That's how I found the world of competitive table tennis, began taking lessons from top-rated stars on the professional circuit, joined an amateurs' league and became a three nights-a-week player. The pros have a saying, "Ping-Pong is the game, table tennis is the sport." I still call it Ping-Pong, and it's the only exercise system I've ever tried that didn't bore me to death in six months.

Dr. Steven Horowitz made precisely the same point when I asked him about the sport's aerobic benefits for aging hearts, minds and bodies. "More exciting than a treadmill!" he exclaimed. "It's no boring workout. You stay alert when competition and scores are involved." Horowitz, 53, is chief, division of cardiology, at the Heart Institute of Manhattan's Beth Israel Medical Center, and a serious tournament player who converted his suburban garage into a full-size court.

"If you're playing the game right," he went on, "you're not using just eye-hand coordination. You're using your legs, arms and shoulders, so you're enhancing both speed and strength. Since you can't predict where your opponent's ball will drop, you force yourself to focus and prepare your body to move in any direction."

Horowitz cross trains at a gym to strengthen his legs. "I tell myself it's for Ping-Pong," he says, "but it's all tied in with health." Another player, one of his cardiac patients, practices yoga to keep limber and flexible for the game. I just do Ping-Pong, and swear that the creaky stiffness I was beginning to feel in my spine has vanished.

Ping-Pong entered the Olympics in 1988. It's huge in Europe and Asia, where the national championships are televised in prime time and most cities have leagues for all levels and ages of player. It's big in surprising places like Nigeria, Israel and the Caribbean, too. In fact, it's among the most popular recreational sports nearly everywhere except the United States. In this country Ping-Pong still suffers from a reputation as a fool-around game for teenagers in the family's basement, a rainy day activity we adored in summer camp or a fun thing we once did on dates, like miniature golf or bowling.

  Dr. Steven Horowitz



Dr. Steven Horowitz, a cardiologist, gets his heart pumping at the Manhattan Table Tennis Club in New York.


Thanks to the Internet, things are changing. You might find a club close to home, or anywhere you travel, with a couple of clicks on your browser. You can reacquaint yourself with the rules and purchase gear  too, so you'll have a competitive edge on your friends and look cool and snappy.

Yes, there is specialized gear for table tennis beyond a plain T-shirt and shorts. Lightweight sneakers are good; imported shoes made especially for the .tame are better. A custom-made paddle, also known as a bat or a racket, can cost as much as $150, and you might want a paddle cover to keep it protected. If you haven't played in years, you'll be surprised to learn that a glued-on laver of spongy rubber has replaced the pimpled hard rubber or sandpaper of your youth.

My friend Ethan, who just turned 60, growled when I told him his trusty old sandpaper bat was passé and also, since the mid-1930s, illegal in tournament competition.

The spongy skins on the modern bat grip the ball to advantage in a sport that today is mostly spin: under spin, back spin, side spin and especially the awesome varieties of top spin-forehand, backhand and loop, a forward-driving, full-body shot that requires coordinated strength and a good racket.

Are you dreaming of the nondescript, little white ball of your childhood? Wake up". Bright orange is today's hot color. Here's a bigger surprise: As of last year, by a nearly unanimous vote of the International Table Tennis Federation, the standard ball is 40 millimeters in diameter and weighs 2.71 grams. That makes it 2 millimeters larger and .2 grams heavier than the old ball.

The "big" ball slows the game down by almost 20 percent, according to the experts. Rat-a-tat-tat machine gun returns, a la the famous, faked sequence in Forrest Gump, were making the rallies too fast and too short for spectators to follow in top-level play. Spin is easier to read on the big ball, too, an important plus for me because I wear glasses.

"I love the big ball", raves Dan Seemiller, 46, of South Bend, Indiana. "It felt totally natural after one week, like, hey, this is what the ball was always supposed to be." Seemiller, a five-time U.S. Men's Singles champion, coached the U.S. Men's Team at the Sydney Olympics and runs table camps in South Bend during the summer and between Christmas and the New Year.

After a year of lessons in my hometown, I drummed up the nerve to join a women's league that plays on Sundays. I was expecting a bunch of jocks who'd destroy me. Not so. Catharina Tjiook, 52, a graphic design artist and a former Ping-Pong champion from Indonesia, started the league to encourage amateurs and beginners to enjoy her favorite sport. Two dozen of us, including a couple of over-60s, compete in singles and doubles matches from October to May, when Catharina ceremoniously hands out trophies to the divisional winners. I've bagged a few trophies for second and third place in Intermediate Doubles, mostly because my team captain, Maria Gobris, a 43-year-old social worker, is one of our league's best athletes.

To use Catharina's expression. I am not yet "match tough." I tend to tense up under pressure, a familiar phenomenon to sports psychologists and athletes. Nobody would deny that I'm match tough in life; the art of staving physically relaxed yet totally focused in sport is something I'm learning.

Advanced players prefer to compete in official tournaments sanctioned by the U.S. Association of Table Tennis, where wins and losses determine ratings and rankings. Tournaments are held in local clubs around the country, with divisions for players over 40, over 50, over 60, etc. At this point, I don't intend to carry my enthusiasm, or should I say my ambition, that far.

The main problem for amateurs and professionals alike is the shortage of high-ceilinged, well-lit public venues with straight wood floors and ample space between tables. In a positive sign that the sport may be about to boom, players in several cities are forming cooperative associations <to arrange and fund use of better part-time or dedicated facilities>.

 What's particularly great about these clubs is the mix of ages and nationalities you'll find there. Set up a Ping-Pong club and you'll attract what '60s radicals optimistically used to call a "rainbow coalition."

 A state-of-the-art club in San Diego, located in Balboa Park near the zoo, has a domed ceiling, a raised platform for tournaments and 20 tables. The Marvland Table Tennis Center in Gaithersburg, known for its junior champions, has two full-time coaches, Chinese émigrés Cheng Yinghua and Jack Huang, who are among the highest rated players in the country.

Last summer, 70-year-old leery Wartski, who is in real estate, opened the Manhattan Table Tennis Club (6 tables, two flights up on Broadway) "because I wanted a place where I could play day and night," he says matter-of-factly. Top-rated pro Atanda Musa from Nigeria runs the place and is one of four coaches available for lessons. I was one of the first to take out a $65 monthly membership. Richard Howell was aghast when I told him walk-ins pay $6 an hour there; while in Austin, they play all night for $5.

Whatever it costs, table tennis is cheaper than a gym membership or workouts with a personal trainer. "Another of its beauties," says Horowitz, the cardiologist, "is that beginners can start by using just their hand and wrist because the ball and racket are so light. When they learn to play better and work up a sweat, it gets more aerobic, and they will get better if they keep playing. Not only is this great exercise for the famous extra ten pounds that everyone wants to lose, it's fun to compete with a younger crowd and a joy to beat someone half your age."

I'll second that. I regularly beat players half my age, and I did knock off that extra 10 pounds.

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Thursday, 15 October 2009
M-T Players in 2009|National Seniors Championship

Two Middletown TTC regulars competed this summer in the National Senior Games Championship - Held mid August in San Francisco.

  Howard (Howie) Eichner competed in the 55-59 age group, while Larry Chou played in the 65-69 category.

 The Two week long event drew about 10,000 athletes, 50 and older for competition in 24 sports, including 334 players in the Table Tennis events.

Both players made it a vacation with their wives in the beautiful Northern California area. 

While neither player reached the finals in the competitive event, both made it out from their original round-robin group before losing in the elimination rounds.  

  Participants finishing in the top 3 in their age division in the Connecticut Senior Games in even numbered years, qualify to enter the National Games, held in the Odd numbered years. The Middletown TTC is expected to host the 2010 TT event next spring, to qualify players for the 2011 games in Houston.


2008 CT.Senior Games T T events Held in M-town

  • Fairfield and Middletown Club players took 'Gold' in a number of the categories including:
      Dave Strang repeating his '06 win form Men 50-54,
    Yosif Gorenbeyn edging out Howie Eichner in 55-59,  Mike
    taking 60-64 honors and Larry Choi winning 65-69.
    Richard Castiglione of N. Branford, playing in his 15th plus Sr. Games
     Table Tennis event, took 70-74 gold.
    Complete results are posted below here - scroll down
    (& also at: http://www.seniorgamesct.org/08tabletennisresults.htm )
    Event finalists in each age group qualified for the 2009 National Senior Games in San Francisco.
        This is a fun event we've hosted or organized for over 15 years
    for players age 50+ and is run simultaneous with our regular weekend club session. It attracted 18 players competing in 6 men's age categories and 2 women's groups .

  • 2008  Results
    Men   Women
    50-54 Medal   65-69 Medal
    Dave Strang Gold   Mary Rosko Gold
    Dennis Totten Silver      
        80-84 Medal
    55-59 Medal   Alison Fox Gold
    Yosif Gorenbeyn Gold   Theresa Fritz Silver
    Howard Eichner Silver   Pam Rondeiro Bronze
    Krishnakant Gupta Bronze      
    60-64 Medal      
    Mike Trusiewicz Gold      
    65-69 Medal      
    Larry Choi Gold      
    Louis Cappello Silver      
    70-74 Medal      
    Richard Castiglione Gold      
    Glen Gill Silver      
    Trevor Prescod Bronze      
    Donald Fansworth 4th Place      
    80-84 Medal      
    Frank Logue  Gold      

    2007 CT Senior Game

    Results are posted below and at the CT Senior Games website.
    A few photos first: 

    The 2007 Senior Games TT events was again held as a part of our Sunday Night play in Middletown, on May 20th . 
    A dozen players, from 60 to over 80 competed in four age groups for Senior Games Gold Silver and bronze medals.

    Playing on  half of 12 tables set up in  Middletown Riverview Hospital Gym, many of the Senior players also practiced with a dozen of our regular club participants when not occupied with Seniors matches.

    2007 Table Tennis Results    20 May 07  
    Singles-Male Overall Tournament Winner CT Winner
    Ted Ostrowski Gold  
    Paul Bieler Sllver   
    Rinaldo Mattei Bronze  
    James Logan    
    Glenville Gill Gold  
    Richard Castiglione Silver  
    Nicholas Gangi Gold  
    Don Husmann Silver  
    Alden Haris Bronze Gold
    Francis Grimaldi Gold  
    Thomas St Hilaire Gold  

    Main event page: 2006 World Senior Champs listed (click blue text link)
    event draws 3000+ players from 40 to 95+ !
    Players 40and up include former world champions
     and 'late blooming' amateurs like one participant:
    who started playing TT at 45 years old and is now a WORLD CHAMPION and former world champions like Mikael Appelgren

    Mikael Appelgren
    - the Muhammad Ali of Table Tennis

    He won his first three matches in group 194 easily. Mikael Appelgren is not only the title holder in the age group 40+, but also the player who draws most attention at the WVC in Bremen. A big crowed of other players watched his first performance in Bremen today. more »

    95 and still Going strong ! (click blue text for link or check page bottom here) 
    British granny, Dorothy de Low 95, is the oldest competitor at the World Veteran Table Tennis Championships in Bremen, northern Germany /EuroPics

    CT.TTA   Hosts 2006 Senior Games TT at Middletown Gym 
    Swells nightly turnout to Record 40+ players !
    Middletown May 20

    CT. TTA (AKA NETTA) has Provided tables and a tournament director for the CT. Senior Games for over 15 years,  since at least 1992,  and has hosted it at it's own club locations since 2003 to expose and connect it's 'seasoned citizen' weekend warriors to our younger players.
        The 2006 edition, while missing the former world champion who qualified  here in 2004,  1948 World Mixed Doubles champion and USATT HOF member Thelma 'Tybie' (Sommers) Hall , it
    did set a record for total nightly club attendance when it's 23 players, starting at 5PM, were eventually joined by  23 more 'youngsters' (mostly 16 to 49) who mostly arrived an hour or so later for regular club play to see the Seniors event beginning to wind down towards it's singles and doubles Gold medal Finals.

    With 12 courts set up - 2 for doubles at center court, The younger players had their choice to watch Seniors from 50 to 80+ and with skill levels from unrated to USATT near 2100 wage friendly battle on the featured courts, or warm-up or play club matches on the 6, and eventually 10 tables reserved for club play. CT.TTA M-T & Ffld. Club Regulars joining the Seniors event and qualifying for the 2007 National Senior Games with Gold or Silver medal performances included 50-54 year old 1st/2nd Dave Strang and Igor Volynske, and 55-59 men 1st/2nd Howard Eichner and Mike Trusiewicz. 
    Complete results are  provided by our friends at the CT.Senior Games organization (CT.Sports Management). 
    Contact club director/webmaster Dave in person or by e-mail if you have photos of participants - particularly if taken during TT play or at this event.PHOTOs are also requested for possible website use here or elsewhere. 

    2006 Senior Games Table Tennis Results     
    Singles-Male Overall Tournament Winner CT Winner
    David Strang Gold David Strang
    Igor Volynske Silver Igor Volynske
    Howard Eichner Gold Howard Eichner
    Mike Trusiewicz Silver Mike Trusiewicz
    Theodore Ostrowski Gold Theodore Ostrowski
    Dan O'Donnell Silver Dan O'Donnell
    Richard Castiglione Gold Richard Castiglione
    Donald Farnsworth  Silver  
    Trevor Prescod Gold Trevor Prescod
    Glen Gill Silver Glen Gill
    Don Husmann Gold  
    Nicholas Gangi Silver  
    Robert Mason Gold Robert Mason
    Thomas St. Hilaire Silver Thomas St. Hilaire
    Lauren Olin Gold Lauren Olin
    Vesta Drayton Gold  
    Elisabeth Abrams Gold Elisabeth Abrams
    Eleanor Cordova Gold Eleanor Cordova
    Mike Trusiewicz/Richard Castiglione Gold Mike Trusiewicz/Richard Castiglione
    Donald Farnsworth/Theodore Ostrowski  Gold Donald Farnsworth/Theodore Ostrowski
    Dan O'Donnell/Donald Farnsworth Silver  
    Don Husmann/Nicholas Gangi Gold  
    Thomas St. Hilaire/Robert Mason Gold Thomas St. Hilaire/Robert Mason
    Mixed Doubles    
    David Strang/Lauren Olin Gold David Strang/Lauren Olin


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    Granny is table tennis hit

    A British granny is a hit in Germany after she turned up to compete in an international table tennis championship - at the age of ninety-five.

    British granny, Dorothy de Low 95, is the oldest competitor at the World Veteran Table Tennis Championships in Bremen, northern Germany /EuroPics

    Dorothy de Low is the oldest competitor at the World Veteran Table Tennis Championships in Bremen, northern Germany.

    The pensioner, known as 'Doddy', has become a celebrity in Germany since her arrival, giving a string of radio, TV and newspaper interviews.

    She has been playing for 40 years and has already competed in nine previous international tournaments, winning a number of medals including the over-80s world championship in Dublin in 1992, the over-60s women's doubles in New Zealand in 1989 and the women's doubles in Baltimore in 1990.

    The British-born woman, who has moved to Australia and now lives in Sydney has this time brought her own coach, Australian table tennis champ Paul Pinkewich, to give her last minute playing tips.

    (Dorothy is reportedly being 'courted' for appearances on Leno or Letterman recently -Ed's note by Dave)

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    Except for contents, trademarks etc. owned by & designated from other sources, all design, logos, text and photos here and elsewhere are copyright Dave Strang DBA: RealTableTennis.com, CT.TTA, MT TT, FF TT AKRON TTC etc. c. 1992-2006. Permission must be requested and granted via e-mail for it's use unless covered by fair use provisions of the law where attribution and a link back to this site are required..Hit Counter