The 4th Table Tennis Tournament

Turning rookies into pros
Almost 60 players gathered to take part in the fourth Table Tennis Tournament for the real estate and construction market, organised by Eurobuild and CMT. As usual, there was all the excitement of the contest and some great fun to be had for the entire family
The tournament was promoted as an entertaining and energetic way to spend a Saturday morning. As it turned out, this promise was more than fulfilled, as more than 100 people turned up at the sports hall on ul. Siennicka in Warsaw’s Praga-Południe district – to battle it out for the trophies, to cheer on the players, or just to have a very pleasant day out. Several generations of family members even turned up for the tournament – the youngest of these was only three months old, while the oldest... well, they were much older. You could bump into some old friends from past events, because this year there was an informal ‘tournament regulars’ category (some had scores to settle from previous tournaments and a few even succeeded in doing so!). What also pleased the organisers was the fact that many new enthusiasts of the sport entered the competition along with names familiar from previous years. So we had some explosive confrontations across the ping-pong tables. “I’m glad that from one year to the next we have had a larger and larger group of competitors. This is a sign that table tennis is still thriving as an adult’s and multi-generational sport. I hope that there will be even more of us here next year, at the fifth tournament,” declared Ferdinand Baggeroer, a board member of CMT, the main organiser and sponsor of the competition, before the games got underway. Only amateurs could take part in the tournament, with the draw divided into three categories: children of both sexes (up to the age of 15), the women’s and the men’s competition (in both cases for those 15 years old or above). Many of the games were close and it all took almost four hours these fiercely fought matches to be played out. Eventually, it was Maksymilian Hyams and Mikołaj Wnuk who faced each other in the junior’s final, with the former only just edging it to take the trophy. Jakub Kapczuk finished in third place. In the women’s category, Monika Grabowska-Dzia-dak and Katarzyna Włodarczyk scored the highest number of points in the heats to get to the final; but after an intense battle, it was Monika who prevailed. Anna Pawikowska was third on the podium. The icing on the cake was the fraternal match-up of the Kostecki brothers in the men’s final, in which Adam’s youthful exuberance wasn’t quite enough to overcome Filip’s experience. The bronze in this category went to Andrzej Rudnicki.
During the breaks in-between all the matches, the fans attending could scale (with professional assistance) the climbing wall that was provided, while some of the youngest kids could try their hand at ping-pong for the first time on the special children’s tables or have a go with some the special attractions laid on for them – such as face painting, playing with blocks and having fun with play-do. Meanwhile, show matches were being played out by professional table tennis players, who gave a truly dazzling exhibition of their skills, often greeted with roars of applause. These pros included Patryk Chojnowski, a Polish senior disabled champion, who has been supported in his career in the sport by CMT for two years. Facing him was the multi-trophy winning Bartosz Such. The players delighted the crowd with the precision and speed of their game, as well as a repertoire of tricks that seemed to deny the laws of physics. Two other professional table tennis players, Marcin Sankowski and Antoni Witkow-ski, took charge of the warm-ups and training games as well giving the amateurs professional tips. Three of the tournament’s winners will soon have an even greater chance of honing their skills closer to championship level, having taken away vouchers funded by Hit The Ball for free table tennis lessons with the competition’s referee Michał Kwaśniewski. And because all this physical effort (the cheering included) naturally burnt up many calories, there were healthy snacks and drinks waiting for everyone at the buffet. See you next year at the fifth Table Tennis Tournament for the real estate and construction market, which will, as usual, be organised by Eurobuild and CMT. Tomasz Cudowski