History of U.S. Table Tennis Vol VI
By Tim Boggan (Copyright 2006)
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 CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

 

            1972: China’s “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” Team Visits Canada. 1972: A Departing Look Into Graham Steenhoven’s Life. 1972: English Open. 1972: European Championships.

 

            Since I devoted a great deal of Vol. V to the Chinese Team’s two-week reciprocal visit to the U.S., beginning with their April 12th arrival in Detroit a few weeks after the U.S. Open, I’ll not repeat myself here, but just add a few extra touches. As reporter Steve Cady tells us in articles in the N.Y. Times and the Canadian TTA News (June, 1972, 12), the 28 Chinese (15 players, 13 others) had come to Detroit from playing a series of Matches in various Canadian cities (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver), beginning in Ottawa “at the Opera House” located in the “$48-million National Arts Centre.” The U.N. Chinese delegation who in March had attended the Long Island U.S. Open, mindful of the imminent arrival of their “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” Team, had, with the cooperation of the LITTA organizing Committee, deliberately kept a low profile—declining to have the Chinese anthem played in their honor, and as quickly as possible terminating an informal news conference. The scene in Ottawa was a bit different. The night before the Touring Chinese were to put on their performance, the Opera House did a little upstaging, for one could go there and enjoy “Ping, Pang, and Pong,” characters in “Puccini’s melodic but gory [opera] ‘Turandot,’ set in ancient Peking.”

As expected, the Canada vs. China pre-Match ceremonies “were ritualistic with a great deal of decorum and dignity. There were speeches in English and Chinese, exchanges of gifts among the players, presentations of roses and playing of the Chinese and Canadian anthems.” Amid the “red seats, red carpets and gold lights,” the friendship competition at “the single playing table in the center of the huge stage” started off just right when the Canadian #1 Derek Wall was allowed to win for O Canada, edging out Liang Ko-liang, 24-22, 21-19. Getting the most applause (since Wall’s was the only match won by Canada) was 3-time World Champion and V-P of the Chinese TTA, Chuang Tse-tung—“introduced to the hockey-minded Canadians as the ‘Bobby Hull of China’”—who defeated his usual exhibition partner Chang Hsieh-lin in usual 22-20 fashion.

Fanfare there was then, with Canadian TTA President Art Barron accompanying the Chinese, while appropriate Royal Box respect was shown Canada’s Governor General, Roland Michner, his wife, and Chinese Ambassador Yao Kuang. As for the fans, those who were there were enthusiastic, but there weren’t enough of them…

 

“ Unfortunately, Canada’s 297,000-citizen capital didn’t snap up the $1, $2, and $3 tickets as hungrily as might have been expected. The crowd totaled about 1,400, slightly less than two-thirds of the house’s 2,240 capacity.

Lack of promotion hurt the production. It didn’t get a single line in the local papers yesterday, and the papers didn’t publish today in observance of Good Friday….”

 

            Of course President Barron’s earlier Message to the Membership (CTTA News, Oct., 1971, 3) had been as upbeat as in general he could make it:

 

“…We now have the golden opportunity to accelerate the progress of table tennis in Canada….We are planning a program of progress and development….To succeed will require co-operation, clear thinking and hard work. Much of the work must come from individual members who should not be overloaded lest they become disheartened. Their duties must be made as attractive and rewarding as possible. Please, my fellow volunteers, realize that without your help, our enterprise will falter, whereas with your help we can all enjoy the environment created by success….I am confident….”

 

            He doesn’t sound so confident. But at least he’s offering as much respectful reciprocity to the Chinese as he can. As in the U.S., so in Canada, the Chinese would be taken to places of interest and wined and dined (see June, 1972 CTTA News articles put together by Editor Jose Tomkins). In Ottawa they’d see “the Parliament Buildings,” and, along with the Canadians, enjoy a “glittering reception in the ballroom of the Skyline Hotel.” In Montreal, they’d visit the “Chateauguay Club for the finals of the First National Junior Championships.” At Montreal’s Loyola College, the Chinese drew 1600 spectators while another 300 watched the matches on closed circuit TV. Adham Sharara and Liang Ke-liang amused the crowd with their play, and Chuang accepted a hockey stick with the same smiling aplomb I’d see him one day autograph an orange. At Niagara Falls, Chuang, interviewed, said, no, he wasn’t idolized by young people in China; said, “I’m just a very ordinary man, no different from anyone else.” Oh, sure—just plain ordinary.*

Back in Sept.-Oct., 1971, two Chinese coaches, 28-year-old Ms. Lin Hsi-Meng, reportedly Chinese National Woman’s Doubles Champion, and 37-year-old Chuang Chia-Fu of the All China Sports Federation, accompanied by interpreter Wang Chia-tung (who’d interacted with the American “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” Team that spring) had given clinics in various parts of Canada. They’d also been invited to non-table tennis sites, one of which had been Gravenhurst.

Now in 1972, at Gravenhurst, 115 miles north of Toronto, the Chinese Team visited the birthplace of Dr. Norman Bethune “who died in China’s Hopei province in 1939 while serving as surgeon to Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s Eighth Route Army.” Bethune “set up scores of hospitals, organized dozens of mobile medical teams and trained hundreds of doctors for Mao’s armies.” At Gravenhurst, the Chinese uncrated “a most intricate and beautifully embroidered portrait” of Dr. Bethune and presented it as a gift in the hope that the Bethune home might become an historical site. Next day, the University of Toronto’s Varsity Arena resounded with cheers from the more than 4,000 spectators who turned out for the Tour matches that the Chinese split 3-3.

Another audience of 4,000, Chandra Madosingh tells us, awaited the Chinese at the Vancouver Agrodome. Off court there was the de rigueur sightseeing—the famed Aquarium (595 different species, including the she-killer whale Skana who eats 120 pounds of fish per day), and the scary swinging Capilan Canyon Bridge—which almost 30 years later my wife would risk being on, only to be joined unexpectedly by teenagers who enjoyed the fun of fearlessly jumping up and down on it, just like Chinese Team members Ho Tsu-pin and Hu Wei-hsin were doing now. Then—who could doubt the Chinese were in safe hands?—up they went on the aerial tramway “skyride” to the top of Grouse Mountain. Then down to a safe, closing Banquet with an appreciative speech by William Yee representing the local Chinese community.

Back in Ottawa, there were a few exhibitions to give and more sights to see—the Central Experimental Farm, the Canadian International Paper Company…until the U.S.’s Graham Steenhoven arrived to take the Chinese on their “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” way to the States.

 

Insight Into Graham Steenhoven

Steenhoven, of course, as the Leader of the U.S. Team, received plenty of Free Press attention. Here, for example, are excerpts from Detroit’s Maryanne Conheim’s Apr. 2, 1972 interview with Graham, a Chrysler employee for almost 44 years, who tells her he has “a sense of what’s right”:

 

“…Steenhoven shunned the limelight for months, because ‘the whole thing [the negotiating for the Chinese to come to the U.S.] was so delicate to me. I was afraid I would jeopardize what was priceless.’

He even flew to Washington to see President Nixon under an assumed name—that of his brother-in-law, James Crabb, in order to safeguard the exchange.

             But people got to him….

            Calls come to Steenhoven even at midnight and when he says he’s sorry, that he can’t arrange a game with the Chinese, the callers sometimes scream: ‘Who’s really in charge of this tour anyway?’

Steenhoven is, but he sometimes tells the more persistent that he is not at liberty to tell them who’s in charge, ‘because I don’t want that person exposed to your abuse.’

[He tells Ms. Conheim]…‘I’ll fight for what’s right. And if you ever get me into a fight, I won’t go by Marquis of Queensberry rules.’

…[He doesn’t worry] about the Chinese seeing dirt or crime in the streets. ‘It doesn’t embarrass me because that’s America….Maybe it’ll help us clean it up.’

Host extraordinaire Steenhoven doesn’t intend to show off America’s fancy cars, clothes and possessions: ‘I wouldn’t show what would make their own situations seem less.’

‘I’d like them to see more of the intangibles, like baseball, people enjoying themselves in the park. I want them to know that America isn’t much different from China in terms of the people.’”

 

As Steenhoven’s long service to the USTTA is coming to an end, he gives details of his life that most members of the Association have no awareness of:

 

“…Steenhoven emigrated with his family from England to the United States when he was 13 years old. His boyhood idols were Queen Victoria “a super human individual” and the Duke of Windsor. ‘I really admired the Duke, but when he left the throne, he lost me….’

Steenhoven’s father was a steel foundry superintendent in England. ‘I don’t know why he left,’ Steenhoven said….‘He was absolutely middle-class England. He had a car in 1924, when nobody had a car….’

Steenhoven dropped out of high school in the 10th grade to care for his ailing mother and newborn sister. ‘I guess I didn’t like school because I was a stranger in this country,’ he said. He got a job with Briggs Manufacturing Co. in 1928, as a $50 a month clerk in the employment office. Chrysler acquired Briggs in 1954.

…During the Depression, Steenhoven [who, like other employees “got laid off a lot”] “shoveled snow, washed windows, cleaned fur coats, and moved around a lot. His parents became apartment caretakers for free rent. To Steenhoven’s father, then a tool and die maker at Briggs, the Depression ‘was definitely a blow. But my father never cried. He was a tough old bird.’

…[Steenhoven took many public speaking courses—] at Southeastern night school, the YMCA, Briggs and Chrysler….[Also, he said] ‘I was involved in softball, bowling, boxing, everything,’ [for he] managed many of the teams….

Steenhoven’s old school loyalty is awesome: ‘My underwear has the Chrysler pentastar on it….’

…[Graham and his wife Dolores] met in [their Presbyterian] church. He was 19 and she was 17. ‘I absolutely chased her,’ he said….He proudly recalls that ‘we saved  up our first money and spent it all on a mink coat for Dolores, when we were living in an upper flat, before we even had a car.’ [Graham and his wife “have no children.”]

‘We’re completely middle class,’ he confesses happily, admitting also that he and Dolores once had a fight. She stopped him cold with the line, ‘Who gives a damn about you besides me?’”

 

            Not Glenn Cowan—not from the disinterest he showed Graham in China, and the sad state he was in when the Chinese came to the U.S. But Glenn did hurriedly get out a table tennis book—which of course caught the attention of Topics reviewer Don Gunn. This 80-page How To Play book, published by Grosset and Dunlap, has left-handed Glenn illustrating “each point twice, once for the righthanded player, and once for the southpaw.” That is, the photos are “flopped,” then reprinted in mirror fashion. Gunn is also impressed that this softbound book, measuring 8 and ¼ by 10 and ¾, is on sale for $2.95 “at large magazine racks” around the country.

            Gunn notes that in Johnny Leach’s hardbound Table Tennis for the Seventies (A.S. Barnes, $6.95) Cowan and Tannehill are taking the brunt of “the whirlwind hitting of the Japanese champions in doubles action.” In the two photos shown (from Doubles play at the Munich World’s), Hasegawa “makes both the ‘kills’ against the USA pair.” But, in the bottom photo, Glenn and John are no longer visible, for they’ve morphed into Nigeria’s Waidi Dawodu/Philip Santos. But, hey, who can write a book without an error? And, considering all the illustrative photos of world-class players, Gunn concludes, “I’ll write something I’ve never written before about a table tennis book—BUY IT.”

            Or, sorry, DON’T, he says—for, on reviewing Leach’s softbound Table Tennis Made Easy (Wilshire Book Co., $2), he finds they’re one and the same book! For just a change in the title and the soft cover, “why pay $6.95 when you can get the same book for only $2.”

            Gunn also reviews Si Wasserman’s updated Table Tennis, an Athletic Institute Series book put out a decade ago for young players, and quite correctly cites a major flaw. Poor Si. It’s obvious he had nothing to do with the absurd captions given the action photos of the Chinese players. As my intention is to sympathize not embarrass, I’ll cite only one example. The photo shows Chuang Tse-tung following through on a forehand hit. The caption reads, “Preparing for a backhand drive, this player has his right side toward the table, his arm ready to swing forward to strike the ball.” Some update. Better you see Dean Johnson’s Photo Sequence of Chuang and read Teh Kao’s article (I’d summarized in Vol. IV) on the 3-time World Champion (TTT, July-Aug., 1972, 5).

            And while I’m on the subject of photos, I must say that Boggan as Editor is not as careful as he should be about giving proper photo credit to Mal Anderson and Rufford Harrison. Rufford shows (TTT, July-Aug., 1972, 14) he’s got a slick sense of humor when he praises Mal for the photographic work he did when the Chinese visited us. Mal, he said, is “photopsychic”—“was able to photograph the same scenes I took. I don’t mean that his pictures were similar to mine. His shots of Disneyland were identical, the very spit and image of my own.” In fact, continues Rufford, Mal is “telephotopsychic.” “As before,” says Rufford, “his camera faithfully records what is on the film in another camera, but this time one separated by thousands of miles. Note the excellent resolution in his photograph of Cheng Min-chih playing the accordion in the Mondavi Vineyard near San Francisco taken while Mr. Anderson was in Philadelphia.”

            Chuang, Boggan knows from following him round the U.S. on his “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” Tour (I end Vol. V, I’m happy to say, with a Harrison-attributed photo of Chuang) offering a toast at that Vineyard), is a popular ex-Champion who’s being kept busy, at least for the moment. But how’s ex-Champion Hasegawa doing? He tells us (TTT, May-June, 1972, 10) that he owes a debt to his parents, and that, despite losses to Stipancic and Bengtsson at the last two World’s, he works to stay fit and upbeat:

 

“…Since I graduated [“from the Aichi Institute of Technology], I have come to play table tennis 1) to build up a healthy body so that I can endure any work, 2) to become a useful man in society, 3) to show as many people as possible how splendid table tennis is, 4) to give my audience courage and confidence [through “nourishing my fighting spirit”], and 5) to learn from my opponent and to have him learn from me….”

 

            He thinks now he “was too much concerned with victory” in the past, though he still harbors thoughts of wining another World Championship. Meanwhile, he says:

 

“…Study is very important to making good results. My work [at the Tamasu Company] of editing the magazine [Table Tennis Report, wherein, in Feb., ’72, this article first appeared] urges me to write manuscripts on the drive, how to make a kill shot, receive tactics, etc. I think of strong players in China and Europe, and I write from my experience….”

 

 

 

English Open

            So of course do Editor Boggan’s overseas correspondents, England’s Phil Reid and Yugoslavia’s Zdenko Uzorinac, write out of their table tennis experience—and Topics readers are grateful for their coverage of some of the World’s most important tournaments. Thanks to Phil (May-June, 1972, 20-21), here’s what happened at the 45th (1972) English Open, held Mar. 2-4 at Brighton’s Dome and Corn Exchange.

            Early in the Men’s Team’s, Czechoslovakia—Milan Orlowski (Europe #12), Jaroslav Kunz (#14), and Stefan Kollarovits (#16)—shut out Yugoslavia # II—Milivoj Karakasevic ((#9) and Istvan Korpa (#11). The Czechs then barely managed to beat England II, 3-2. Orlowski, a “fast-moving, elegant player,” had a narrow win over Nicky Jarvis who was “looping, hitting, and moving very well.” But Commonwealth Champ Trevor Taylor tied the tie by besting Kunz who, in rarely moving from the table, “plays a number of short jabs, pushes and short-arm smashes.” Jarvis/Taylor then took the Doubles—and England II was ahead 2-1. To no avail, however. Orlowski went on to stop Taylor; and Kunz, Jarvis—the Czech winning a 22-20 swing game. (Note that Orlowski, Kunz, and Alicia Vostova with a perfect 6-0 record came 1st in the First Division European League. And that a very disappointed France (1-5: 15-27), after losing its final match, was relegated by the thinnest of margins to the 2nd Division instead of England (1-5; 16-26), who won its final match.)

            “Full of bounce and joviality as usual was Jim Langan, perhaps the best player Ireland has ever produced.” After the Irish had knocked off Nigeria, they faced Sweden I, whereupon the lefty Langan “nearly brought off the shock of the season when he led World Champion Stellan Bengtsson 13-8 in the third. “Nearly,” did we hear? Plenty of time—Bengtsson won 21-17. Then Sweden I defeated Czechoslovakia 3-1—with Kollarovits upsetting Kjell Johansson in straight games.

              On the other side of the Draw, it was Yugoslavia—Dragutin Surbek (World #3) and Anton Stipancic (World #8)—who’d advanced 3-0 over England I, against Hungary—Matyas Beleznay and Peter Rozsas (Jonyer and Klampar didn’t attend). Rozsas had earlier lost to the English Junior Champion Simon Heaps, but in this tie, in the opening match, the lefty Hungarian played very well in dropping a tough 19-in-the-3rd match to Stipancic. Next up: the athletic Surbek, who, as expected, overpowered Beleznay. With the Yugoslavs up 2-0, the Doubles would end it? Nope. Surbek would close though—no question. Nope. Rozsas, “ranked about 8 in Hungary,” proved to be “very light on his feet and with a sure touch” downed Surbek, 21-12 in the 3rd. Now if Beleznay could win the decider….But Stipancic never allowed him “to get really dangerous.”

            In the final, Stipancic opened for Yugoslavia with a much-applauded, close 1st game win over Johansson, then finished him with a series of “crushing forehands.” Now, in the 2nd match…

 

“…The score nearly became 2-0 when Dragutin Surbek—…one of the most entertaining of all players—nearly got home in straight games against Stellan Bengtsson. The crowd loved his high-lobbed returns, his tremendous speed, and his great agility. If the crowd applauded Surbek’s work-rate, then they certainly appreciated the class of Bengtsson. At 21-20 up in the second, Surbek nearly made a return which—at the time he went for it—didn’t look remotely possible. Had it have gone on I feel sure he would have won, but it didn’t and when Bengtsson won the second he must have been fairly confident he would take the third [—and did].”  

 

            The Swedes then won the Doubles—which set the stage for the Bengtsson-Stipancic struggle. It went three games, with the Yugoslav often defending to win the 2nd and stay in the match….Then, up 20-16 in the 3rd, Stipancic “sent yet another forehand drive rocketing past Bengtsson’s outstretched arms” to clinch the win. Now, with the tie tied 2-2, Johansson, making superb placements, “was able to prevent Surbek from using his deadly forehand.” So,  Men’s Team event to the Swedes.

            In the Women’s Team’s, the English players didn’t do well. Despite Linda Howard’s win over Claude Bergeret, England II fell to France 3-1; and then the “inexperienced Hungarian team” of Molnar and Szendy eliminated England I, 3-1. France was ousted, 3-1. Though Bergeret was able to beat Carmen Crisan, Rumania’s Marie Alexandru, known for her defense, showed she had a powerful attack too— “dispatched forehand kills to all parts of the bewildered Brigitte Thiriet’s court” to even things up. As the tie progressed, the “French girls could do nothing to stem…[their opponents’] flow of shots.”

While, in the one semi’s, Hungary went down as if paying homage to Czechoslovakia, in the other, Rumania was having serious problems with Sweden. Though Alexandru (World #8) knocked off Lena Andersson, Sweden more than countered when Birgitta Radberg beat Carmen Crisan (World #13 in 1969) and Radberg/Andersson took the doubles. Then, surprise, Radberg, unranked in Europe, pick-hitting well, defeated Alexandru in 3. In the final, young Czech super-star Ilona Vostova (World #3) could not beat either Swede, so all the pressure was on Alicia Grofova (World #11) and she handled it well, just edging out Radberg, deuce in the 3rd, to give the Czechs the Team title.

Pause now with covering reporter Phil Reid while he has a drink or two in congenial company, including that of ITTF President H. Roy Evans whom the Queen has just rewarded for “services rendered to table tennis.” Roy is now an OBE, “a member of the Order of the British Empire.”

In Men’s Singles play, Reid points out that England’s Trevor Taylor, scoring with long-swing loops, played “some grand stuff” against Bengtsson—“nearly won three straight (had a big lead in the first, won the second, and lost the third at 19”), then couldn’t survive the fourth. Easy to name the most fiercely contested quarter’s match: Rozsas almost stopped Stipancic, dropping a hard-to-forget downer, 22-20 in the 5th. In the semi’s, Bengtsson beat Stipancic in straight games, while Johansson got the better of Surbek. How often must these finalists play one another, even though Kjell “lives 110 kilometres away” from Stellan. With “both players hitting and counter-hitting,” the title went to Bengtsson in 4. The Swedes, however, did not win the Doubles—they were upset by Beleznay/Rozsas, 22-20 in the 5th. The Hungarians then lost to Karakasevic/Korpa who fell in the final to fellow Yugoslavs Surbek/Stipancic. Reid saysYugoslav skipper Dusan Osmanajic stressed Stipancic’s ability to adapt his game to many different partners.

In Women’s play, Alexandru avenged her loss in the Team’s to Radberg, beating her in the semi’s 3-1, after losing the 1st, narrowly winning the 2nd, then thrashing her 7 and 10. In the straight-game final, she proved clearly superior to Vostova, and so won this English Open Singles title for the third year in a row. She also took both Doubles—the Women’s with Eleonora Vlaicov, the Mixed with Stipancic.

 

European Championships   

            Following the English Open, it’ll be Uzorinac’s turn to keep us informed—he’ll cover the 1972 European Championships, held Apr. 15-22 in Rotterdam. The Men’s Team’s were initially divided into two Groups, A and B. Sweden won Group A—over Rumania, 5-0; over West Germany, 5-3 (Schoeler beat Bengtsson, 2-1!); over Austria 5-1 (Weinmann beat Johansson 2-1 after Kjell was up 20-17 in the 3rd!); over Denmark, 5-0; and over Hungary 5-3 (Johansson lost to Jonyer, 2-1; Bengtsson beat Jonyer 2-0). In close ties, Hungary beat West Germany 5-4 (with Jonyer winning all 3); and Denmark beat Austria 5-4.

            Yugoslavia won Group B—over Greece and Spain, 5-0; over Czechoslovakia 5-2 (Surbek beat Orlowski 10 and 5!); over France, 5-1; over England, 5-1 (Denis Neale beat Stipancic), and over USSR, 5-4 (Gomozkov beat Surbek, 2-0, Korpa, 2-1, and Stipancic, 2-1, and Anatoly Strokatov beat Stipancic, 2-0). Czechoslovakia downed USSR, 5-4 (the Czech Jiri Turai, in compiling a 10-0 record, took all 3).

            Final: Sweden beat Yugoslavia, 5-1 (Bo Persson lost to Surbek but beat Stipancic!).

            As you can see, Stipancic (with 5 losses) had a BAD tournament—so the less said about that the better since our reporter’s from Zagreb. However, Zdenko does detail how the Russians dropped two horrific ties: “…The left-hander from Baku, Sarkhis Sarhojan, champion of the USSR, was the main ‘offender.’ Sarkhis won the first set against Orlowski 21-6 and in the 2nd was leading 20-13…and yet incredibly lost the match!” And as if this weren’t enough, when the Soviets were 4-3 up on Yugoslavia, Sarkhojan was leading Korpa double match point, but couldn’t hold on for the win, and Russia lost.

            In the Women’s Team’s, Hungary won Group A—over East Germany, 3-0; over   USSR, 3-0 (Kishazi beat Fedorova, 2-0; Magos beat Rudnova, 2-0!, and Magos/Lattaler beat Rudnova/Fedorova, 2-1); over Rumania, 3-2; over Jersey, 3-0; and over Sweden, 3-2 (in the 5th match, Magos beat Lena Andersson deuce in the 3rd!).

            West Germany won Group B—over Czechoslovakia, 3-2; over Yugoslavia, 3-0; over Spain, 3-0; over Bulgaria, 3-2; over England, 3-1.

            Final: Hungary over West Germany, 3-0—no contest.

            There were certainly a few early-round matches to talk about in the Men’s Singles (“130 participants from 27 nations”—except, says Zdenko, Klampar capriciously “left his Hungarian comrades ‘on the spot’ at the last minute, crying for his injured arm? or for money from the Association?”). France’s Jean-Paul Weber, armed, I presume, with bothersome antispin, over Karakasevic in 5. Norby Van de Walle, ex- U.S. International who’d left the States 10 years earlier for Belgium, over Orlowski, 3-2 !). Wilfried Lieck,  the 1972 and future 5-time German National Champion, over Surbek, 3-1. And Korpa, from down 2-0—the only 5-game match in the 8th’s—over Johansson, one of the favorites to win.

            It appeared that Bengtsson too was going to go out of the tournament, for in the quarter’s he had to play Gomozkov, whom he’d lost to the last four times. “But Stellan neutralized Gomozkov’s dangerous backhand flick,” and went on to blitz Stipancic who’d beat him in Brighton. Jonyer, meanwhile, advanced with easy matches against Neale (who’d eliminated Lieck) and Korpa. In the final, with games 1-1, Jonyer took the important 3rd, 23-21. In the 4th, the Hungarian was up 18-16, but couldn’t win from 19-all. In the 5th, Bengtsson again won as, even up, they started into the end game. So Stellan, in addition to being World Champion, was European Champion as well.

            In Women’s Singles, the only 5-game match in the 8th’s saw former English now West German star, Diane Rowe Schoeler, her past retirement only a memory, come back from two games down to oust Sweden’s “very attractive and beautiful” Birgitta Radberg. In the quarter’s, only one contested match: Hungary’s Judit Magos, who in training at Budapest, had been playing “as an equal with Borszei and Beleznay, respected men players,” had repeatedly been beating Rumania’s Marie Alexandru this season. But this time she lost 3-2 “and spilled gallons of bitter tears.” In the semi’s, while Kishazi finished Vostova in 4, Alexandru was blanked by Rudnova. Nor in the final could Kishazi do any better—she too lost 3-0 as Rudnova successfully defended her Championship.

            Men’s Doubles went not to World Champions Jonyer and Klampar, ‘cause no way was Klampar going to play even if he wanted to. But, never mind, Jonyer took Roszas as his partner and proceeded to gain the final—3-2 outlasting both England’s Alan Hydes/Nicky Jarvis (who’d upset Korpa/Karakasevic in 5) and Czechoslovakia’s Orlowski/Turai. And who did they meet there? Bengtsson/Johansson of course, who’d taken out Schoeler/Borszei after this defensive-minded combo had upset Surbek/Stipancic. So the winners were…to the astonishment of all, Jonyer/Rozsas, 23-21 in the 4th.

            In a Women’s Doubles semi’s, the 1969 World Champions, Rudnova and Svetlana Grinberg Federova, were upset by England’s Jill Hammersley and Hungary’s Kishazi in 5. But in the final, “the temperamental Magos, constantly attacking,”paired with “the very young” Lottaler to down this pick-up pair of strong defenders.

            In the Mixed, Magos teamed with Jonyer to get by Rita Pogosova/Sarhojan in 5. But Bengtsson/Andersson really pulled off some heroics by 3-2 beating both Nagoya’s silver medalists Stipancic/Alexandru and Jonyer/Magos…only to lose to Gomozkov/Rudnova in the final.

            In addition to finalizing all these results, Topics reporter Uzorinac couldn’t resist mentioning one talked-about incident at these Championships:

 

“…Before his match with Kollarovits in the 2nd round, Johansson postponed play because he couldn’t choose any good Hanno balls. After the Swede rejected 25, the referee chose one. Then, still unhappy, Johansson was disqualified.

At which point all the Swedes threatened to go home! The ETTU Committee then found a solution worthy of a Solomon: they ruled that the match must be played with one ball of three chosen by the referee. This closed the incident. And Kjell went on to beat Kollarovits 3-1.”

 

            How nice when players and officials cooperate—bend a little, work out a compromise.

 

SELECTED NOTES.

            *More than 30 years later, California’s Howie Grossman and family on a trip to China visited Zhuang Zedong (formerly Chuang Tse-tung). On hearing of the death of Glenn Cowan, Zhuang asked if Glenn was remembered by the American public. When Howie said, regretfully, “No,” Zhuang said, “When I die, everyone in China will know.”