A Walloon European table tennis champion!15/07/2019

No, our compatriot Jean-Mi did not put his legendary shorts back on; it was Cédric Merchez who won the Veteran 40 event in Budapest, Hungary.

This was a real achievement, according to former Belgian international Kévin Vissers. "The level was very high. With more than 4,000 participants in this European Championship, he has shown a superb image of Belgian table tennis on the international scene; it was a performance that deserves respect," he commented. After easily defeating Slovak international Michal Bardon (3/0) in the semi-finals, he was down 1 set to 2 against Greek international Ioannis Vlotinos. He then came back to win the last two sets with a score of 11-7, allowing him to win the European Championship title. Cédric Merchez returns home with this gold medal as well as a silver medal he won in doubles with German player Hielscher.

To complete the picture, we must also mention the bronze medal won by the young men who finished third in the Junior category. They remained solid against Poland in the quarter-finals; despite being 2-0 down, they managed to find the mental strength to equalise and finally win. However, there was nothing they could do against Azerbaijan and its three Chinese players, losing in the semi-finals.

Belgium's recent table tennis past is glorious, although now experiencing a dip; but there is no doubt that our young people have shown that the next generation is ready to boost the reputation of our national team.

Boulevard du 30 juin, Kinshasa - MONUSCO/Myriam Asmani (CC BY 2.0)

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