On this day, the 30th of April, our friend, the Hungarian table tennis talent and many times world champion turned today 70 years old, and still playing (with handmade balde).
His nickname was Mr. Wrist at the top of his carrier because of his killer backhand topspin over the table, but it seems he invented kicking 40 years earlier than Chinese table tennis players. Of course, he played with big-headed Stiga Original, Alser, Ehrlich, Mellis, and sometimes Marita Neidert. All of them were handmade table tennis blades at that time. He is still playing table tennis, so sometimes we enjoy the honor of building a handcrafted table tennis wood for him and listening to this world champion player’s advice.
We interviewed Jan-Ove Waldner when he visited Hungary to play at a table tennis gala. He told us in the ’70s, Kalmpar was his role model.
Tibor Klampar’s carreer
He won the European Youth Championship at 13, and in 1971 in Nagoya (at only 17 years old!) became world champion in doubles alongside István Jónyer.
Together with Gábor Gergely, their world-feared trio formed the backbone of the gold team that won the World Championship in Pyongyang in 1979 and two years later ended the World Cup as silver medalists in Novi Sad. He won the European Championship twice in team and once in doubles. Among the other medals he won at world competitions, he is very proud of his World Cup first place in Kuala Lumpur in 1981, when three Chinese stood next to him on the podium.
One of his last significant actions at the highest level was 4th place at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Unfortunately, unlike the following Olympics, the bronze medal match still had to be played in South Korea…
We wish him a happy birthday and hope to see him at the table for a long time!