29th February 00:54
OK, hands up who thought that Samsonov and Boll would get the byes through
to the semis?
Me too. However, as Matt is organising the event, and it will be played
before a largely English crowd; it is understandable. I was hoping Matt
would play Waldner in the quarters; so I could see Jan-Ove in two matches
This event is being played Saturday evening, with more than an hour of
highlights scheduled to be shown on Sunday afternoon on BBC2. Lets just hope
they stick to the schedule a little better than British Eurosport!
6th March 02:21
Crucible will put subtleties of table tennis under microscope
By Matthew Syed
TIMO BOLL, the world No 1 from Germany, heads what is arguably the most
illustrious line-up of competitors assembled for an invitation table
tennis event when the Ocean International Continental Masters takes place
at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield tonight.
The 22-year-old is widely acknowledged to be the most exciting European
player for a generation and the one most likely to scupper China’s hopes
of gold in the men’s singles at next year’s Olympic Games in Athens. But
the player from Hochst will not have it all his own way tonight.
He faces the spectacular away-from-the-table specialist, Chen Weixing,
formerly of China but now representing Austria, in his opening match.
While classified as a defender, Chen is capable of stepping forward to
unleash devastating counter-topspins while retaining his subtly deployed
slice from deep on the backhand wing. It is a combination that is likely
to cause problems for the German, who, despite possessing the fastest
reactions in the sport, is comparatively weak against heavy backspin.
I have the unenviable task of facing the winner in the semi-finals. But
it is the other half of the six-man event, in which all players were
drawn, that is generating most of the excitement among the sport’s
The quarter-final match-up between Jan-Ove Waldner, indisputably the
greatest player of all time, and Vladimir Samsonov, from Belarus, is a
repeat of the 1997 World Championship final in Manchester, when the Swede
produced a near flawless performance to defeat the heavily fancied young
pretender in straight games to capture his second world crown.
Waldner, 37 and entering what will almost certainly be his last season at
the pinnacle of the sport he has dominated for 20 years, is unlikely to
repeat that feat. His mild-mannered adversary recently won his second
European Championship title and is playing with the effortless fluency
that took him to the top of the world rankings in 1999. The only question
mark remaining against Samsonov, 27, is his temperament on the grandest
stage: he has yet to win a World or Olympic singles title.
Waiting for the winner is Kalinikos Kreanga, the all- action dynamo from
Greece who captivated a capacity audience in Bercy in May by defeating
Samsonov en route to the semi-finals of the World Championships. The
line-up has generated unprecedented interest — the venue was sold out
earlier this week and tickets are now changing hands for double their £15
face value. But it will be the 1½ million viewers who tune in to watch
the highlights on Grandstand at 2:35pm tomorrow who will determine the
legacy of the most expensive television event in English table tennis.
It is hoped that the quality and contrasting styles of the competitors
will finally put paid to the notion that the sport does not translate
well to the small screen. It is the venue, as much as the players, that
will be pivotal in determining the success of tonight’s event. It was not
until the initial site visit in February that it became clear that the
home of the World Snooker Championship could accommodate an
international-size table tennis court.
The live audience will be closer to the action than at any other venue in
table tennis, while the steeply banked seating will ensure that even
those at the back will have a more intimate view than is conventional in
the vast sports halls that do the sport such disservice. It is only by
making the action up close and personal that the subtleties and magic of
table tennis are revealed: the disguised spins, feinted flicks and
Equally intriguing will be the reaction of the players. All are vastly
experienced, but having a thousand fans in close and vocal proximity
while under the glare of courtside television lights and cameras is not
many people’s idea of fun. Some are even suggesting that the ice-cool
persona of Waldner might melt in the metaphorical heat of the Crucible.
What is likely, though, is that English table tennis will never be the
6th March 02:22
V Samsonov (Blr) bt J Waldner (Swe) 11-7 11-7 11-13 11-9
T Boll (Ger) bt C Weixing (Aut) 6-11 11-4 5-11 11-8 11-9
V Samsonov (Belarus) bt K Kreanga (Greece) 11-13 13-11 8-11 11-9 15-13
T Boll (Ger) bt M Syed (Eng) 13-11 7-11 11-7 8-11 11-9
Boll bt Samsonov 11-9 7-11 11-9 11-7
9th March 21:26
In article <MPG.firstname.lastname@example.org> ,
Ocean International Continental Masters
9th August 2003, The Crucible, Sheffield
Its not often you get a current world No 1 and two former No1's on the
same bill unless it's at the World or European Championships. But to have
them performing together in the middle of Sheffield was a triumph for our
sport which needs publicity of this magnitude to survive.
The Ocean International Continental Masters Championships was
masterminded by sports marketing guru Paul Andrews and our own Matthew
Syed. And it was such a success that another Masters could be on the
Brought together for the first time were Timo Boll, the German world No
1, Vladimir Samonsov from Belarus, No 4 and former No 1, Kalinikos
Kreanga from Greece, the legendary Jan-Ove Waldner, who has won every
title under the sun, Chinese star Chen Weixing and our own Matthew Syed.
The Crucible, better known for its snooker epics, was an ideal venue.
Packed to the rafters with all 900 seats sold and the atmosphere, with
whistles, horns and flags, was more European than English. But for the
BBC TV it came over extraordinarily well.
The eventual winner was Timo Boll who survived the hot conditions to
provide the audience with a class of table tennis rarely seen in this
country. He beat the Belarus player Vladimir Samsonov in the final, which
turned out to be something of an anti climax to the unforgettable matches
that had gone before.
Earlier Matthew played some of the best table tennis of his career. If he
had harbored any thoughts about retiring (he is 32) this sort of form
must have put doubts in his mind. He mixed defence, for which he is
better known, with massive top spin forehands and flashing backhands to
the delight of the crowd. But despite the backing of the home crowd he
went down, literally at the end, in five games. But defeat meant nothing
after such an entertaining match.
"I was delighted with my form, although disappointed that I failed to
reach the final," said Matthew. "Nevertheless the experiment of staging
these championships in the current format was a complete success."
The chances are that this will not be a one off. The BBC were also
delighted with the event and whispers in the corridors of power suggest
that between now and next year's Olympics table tennis will be high on
the list of BBC sports it wants to cover.
Members can play an important part by contacting the BBC at
email@example.com and acknowledging their coverage of the event.
15th March 13:52
Yes, Syed played some superb table tennis. He was certainly not
outclassed by Boll (who frequently sported a wry smile during the
There's nothing better than watching a good attacker against a good
defender, and this match was no exception. This was the first time I've
ever seen Syed play (table tennis does not, unfortunately, figure very
much on British television) and I was impressed! I'm sure that if he
played like that all the time he would greatly improve his world
ranking. I'm not highlighting Syed's play because he (like me) is
British, but rather because I expected him to be totally detroyed by
Boll (and he wasn't).
Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG
19th March 03:44
Incidentally, I have all the matches on DVD - the picture and sound quality
is superb. I am asking for £15 or $20 USD for postage - The DVD itself is
free, you only pay for postage. I also have 3 DVDs from the 2003 World
Championships in Paris. £15 or $20 USD per volume or £35 ($50 USD) for all
The Contnental Masters
Running Time - Approximately 1 hour 55 mins
The matches were as follows:
Vlademir Samsonov (Bel) vs Jan-Ove Waldner (Swe)
Timo Boll (Ger) vs Chen Weixing (Aut)
Kalinikos Kreanga (Gre) vs Vlademir Samsonov
Timo Boll (Ger) vs. Mathew Syed (UK)
Timo Boll (Ger) vs Vlademir Samsonov (Bel) Finals
Volume 1 (Approximately 2hrs: 20 mins)
Kalinikos Kreanga (Gre) vs Chu Weixing (Aut)
Timo Boll (Ger) vs Yike Qiu (Chn)
Ma Lin (Chn) vs Joose Hyuk - 1/4
Tamara Boros vs Chang Jun Gao (USA)
Kong Linghui (Chn) vs Werner Schlager (Aut) 1/4
Werner Schlager vs Joose Hyuk (Final)
Volume 2 (running time: approximately 2hrs:39 mins.
Yike Qiu (Chn) vs Lengerov Kostadin (Aust)
Werner Schlager (Aut) vs Slobodan Grujic (Yug)
Patrick Chilla (Fra) vs Frederick Hakkansson (Swe)
Kong Linghui (Chn) vs Oh Sang Eun (Kor)1/8
Wang Liqin (Chn) vs Chiang Pen-Lung (Tpe) 1/8
Vladamir Samsonov (Bel) vs Kalinikos Kreanga (Gre) 1/8
Ma Lin (Chn) vs Frederick Hakkansson (Swe) 1/8
J.O. Waldner (Swe) vs Papage****ou (Gre)
Volume 3 (Bits and Pieces) - (approximately 1 hr 35 mins)
Timo Ball (Ger) vs Yike Qiu (Chn) - (The greatest upset of the
JP Gatien (Fra) vs Adrian Cris (Rom)
Wang Hao (Chn) vs Damien Eloi (Fra)
Ma Lin (Chn) vs (Rober Gardos (Aut)
Vladamir Samsonv vs Josef Plachy
Timo Boll (Ger) vs Jin Ju
Zang Yining (Chn) vs Fukuhora Ari (Jpn)
Timo Boll/ Fejer-Konnerth Zoltan/Koran Team during Training session
For info please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.