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Ah, the Swede smell of success
Dick Miles
April 23, 1973
Ever since 1952, when a wispy Japanese named Satoh won the world table tennis championship, Europeans have been singing the wait-till-next-time blues. Yet as next time led to next time the raw materials that Satoh introduced to the sport—the astonishing sponge racket and the all-out, crash-through style—were refined more rapidly by Asians than by Europeans so that, until recently, the gap between them widened rather than narrowed and few major trophies wound up in the West.
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April 23, 1973

Ah, The Swede Smell Of Success

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Even with Bengtsson gone, it seemed certain that the competition would result in another victory for the Europeans. By the quarterfinals there were still seven of them left and only one Asian, China's Hsi En-ting.

Yet for the West one was one too many. Playing Sweden's Kjell Johansson in the finals, En-ting dropped two of the first three games, then rallied to take the fourth. Leading 19-18 in the final, he won the match when two successive returns nicked the edge of the table for unreturnable winners. As far as singles are concered, Europe must sing another chorus of the wait-till-next-time blues.

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