Igor Levitin: “We raise our children, we have talented young people”

On Monday, April 6 as part of the observance of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, established by the UN General Assembly and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2013, at the Moscow Main Department Store (GUM) the celebration of the first ever World Table Tennis Day took place. It was conducted by initiative of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

Near ​​the fountain between the first and second lines of the GUM Department Store a playground with professional children’s Table Tennis tables was organized. Anyone could measure his skill level and reaction rate against the athletes-instructors of the Table Tennis Federation of Russia (TTFR) and members of the national team. Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation, Vice-President of the Russian Olympic Committee, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Table Tennis Federation of Russia, member of the ITTF President’s Advisory Council Igor Levitin attended the festive event.

“It’s an excellent place, everybody is in a festive mood, the atmosphere is absolutely amazing, – said the Vice-president of the ROC. – There are always a lot of people in the GUM Department Store and in this case it is very important. This is the first World Table Tennis Day where masters and lovers from different countries have the opportunity to play ping pong with each other. Today I am pleased to support our Junior National Team and the first Master Class National Team. We raise our children, we have talented young people. Just look: today professional athletes play with young children, perhaps our future Olympians – and it’s really great!

Table Tennis is a very affordable sport. Parents should only buy their child a racket and he will go to the gym and train. In Russia, about 80.000 people play ping pong professionally. I hope that this figure will increase from year to year”, – said Igor Levitin.

Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation took a racket and played a few games paired with the Moscow National Team Head coach Valery Shevchenko against the sports fans who had gathered in GUM. Their rivalry with representatives of the Russian national team Margarita Fetyukhina and Yelena Troshneva turned out to be a fascinating performance, which culminated in the girls’ victory. After  the professionals amateurs have decided to try their hand at playing Table Tennis. Journalists’ experimental team, presented by the staff of the ROC Information Service and the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper, defeated Igor Levitin and Valery Shevchenko in a bitter struggle 8-11. After the match Igor Levitin gave a flash interview to the ROC Information Service.

– In this friendly match we did not give in, we played at full strength. We only gave you chance of a second serve 3 times without losing points when you missed the service box (he laughs). Come to our trainings 2 times a week and we will play together, – summed up the member of the Presidential Council of the International Table Tennis Federation.

Svetlana Fyodorova-Grinberg,  Honored Master of Sports, twice world champion, three-time European champion, multiple champion of the USSR, who is still engaged in her favorite sport, took part in the celebration of the World Table Tennis Day.

“It’s just a wonderful event! Table Tennis brings together a huge number of people on the planet. This is especially important for children, who are also involved in this sports holiday. Physical activity and good mood are the key to success not only in the sport, but also in everyday life. I wish all of us that Russian Table Tennis will have many good results”, – said the famous Soviet athlete.

Anyone can join the celebration of the 1st  World Table Tennis Day and the sport in the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.  Table Tennis court and athletes-instructors will continue their work in the building of the Moscow’s main department store until 10pm Moscow time.