Table Tennis

Robert Gardos, 41 and nonetheless going robust

by Olalekan Okusan

Again in February, only one month earlier than worldwide desk tennis occasions have been halted as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, Gardos sealed a bronze medal end on the 2020 ITTF Europe High 16 Cup, thus reserving his spot for the upcoming 2020 ITTF Males’s World Cup

His solely earlier look on the Males’s World Cup got here in 2015 in Halmstad, Sweden, when he acquired by way of the preliminary group stage, however was crushed by Japan’s Koki Niwa within the first knockout spherical.

Undoubtedly, the chance to compete once more at such a prestigious occasion is a serious motivating issue for a participant in his twilight years.

“The World Cup is a really good and particular occasion as a result of in Europe it’s at all times very exhausting to qualify; so for me to compete this 12 months means so much to me and is essential for my profession.”


Born in Budapest, Hungary, Robert and brother Krisztian have been launched to desk tennis by their father, Peter Gardos, coach at his hometown membership Budapest VSC.

“Desk tennis runs within the household. My mom and father are coaches. So I began enjoying in my early years. I grew up in Budapest and after college I’d go to practise in addition to on weekends. I preferred practising with my father.”

“Desk tennis was very enjoyable for me once I began and it took time for me to enhance. Since I began enjoying, it has helped me to mature psychologically. I really feel fortunate to have made a livelihood from this sport and to get pleasure from an excellent life with my household. It was by way of the game that I learnt to work exhausting and provides my finest, so then life gives you again what you deserve.”

Onerous work: make a rating of gamers who fulfil that standards and Gardos could be excessive on the checklist.

Gardos sealed his Males’s World Cup ticket in dramatic style earlier this 12 months on the 2020 ITTF Europe High 16 Cup (Photograph: Rémy Gros)

A father of three, like all sporting personalities, there was an unlimited way of life change within the final six months.

“I spent the lockdown interval with my spouse and our three kids and this made me have a lot to do. I used to be additionally doing my health in addition to practising with my robotic at residence. I need to give my finest as a result of now with this pandemic, it is rather exhausting and completely different to organize for the season.”

“There have been many nice moments in my profession however my bronze medal end on the 2020 Europe High 16 will stay with me for a really very long time. Additionally the European gold medal moments and the Beijing 2008 bronze medal match win over Ryu Seungmin have been memorable.”

On the Beijing 2008 Olympic Video games, Gardos helped clinch a shocking fourth place for Austria within the males’s group occasion, finally shedding 3-1 to Korea Republic.

Partnering Daniel Habesohn, he’s additionally the reigning European males’s doubles champion, having gained the 2018 version in Alicante, Spain, which adopted on from their 2012 victory in Herning, Denmark.

“I don’t remorse embracing desk tennis. My household performed a giant position in my profession as a result of, with out their help, I couldn’t have given 100 per cent to my sport.”

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