Friday, 14 March 2008

1st Inter-consulate Table Tennis Tournament in St. Petersburg

I love to play table-tennis . I remember my university days when I was a student at the K.M. College in Delhi University and lived in the College Hostel. At the hostel in 1998 I saw for the first time a table-tennis table, racket and an orange ball and students playing this game. I touched the racket, took it in my right hands and hit the ball across the net but the ball never landed on the table. I tried many times to put the ball as other players did but I did not succeed. Then days, weeks, months and two years passed by and I did not touch the table-tennis racket or ball.
Then I moved to the Jawaharlal Nehru University where I stayed in the Narmada Hostel. It was at Narmada that I again took the table-tennis racket in my hand and I found the balls falling at the right places after a few days of practice. Since then I have moved from strength to strength. I played table-tennis during the lunch break at the Embassy in Moscow with the Embassy staff. To play table-tennis was great way to relax and stress out. I simply loved the game.
Now I am already in St. Petersburg since the last six months and have mingled with the diplomats from the other countries in this city. Last month I proposed to host an Inter-consulate table-tennis tournament. We got participants from Cyprus, Finland and Hungary. We held both the doubles and the singles. Finland won the doubles. In singles there was a tie among Magnus from Finland, Gabor from Hungry and me. I had reached to the final beating all the participants except Magnus but finally Magnus got the first place, Gabor the second and I got the third place. The other players were Anton from Cyprus, Kai from Finland and Jagdish from India.
Whatever were the final results, we enjoyed playing table tennis greatly and got to know each other much better than we ever get the opportunity to know them during the diplomatic parties over a glass of fine champagne. We have decided to host the next Inter-Consulate table-tennis tournament the first or second week of April with many more participants from many more countries.

Interesting facts-
  • Table-Tennis was banned in Russia in the early twentieth century as it was considered to have an adverse impact on the eyesight of the players.

  • Table-tennis was included in the Olympics games in 1988.

  • Table-tennis started in UK and developed in the United States where it became popular as 'Ping-Pong'.

  • 'Ping-Pong' is not of Chinese origin as it seems sometimes.

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