Viewing page 17 of 23

HUNGARIAN PLAYER TROUNCES JAPAN'S OGIMURA IN LONDON

A TREMENDOUS roar of approval followed by a burst of applause greeted the news broadcast during a soccer match at the Budapest People's Stadium to its 60,000 spectators that Zoltan Berezik, Hungarian table-tennis player, defeated Ogimura of Japan in London. The young Hungarian player scored a brilliant victory over his opponent on April, 6, 1957, to win the men's singles title of the English International Table-tennis Tournament. 
This blond youth, who moves like a Teddy bear when not playing, rose from obscurity to world fame in less than a year. He was born in Ujvidek in 1937 and attended school in Gyula, Hungary. He went hout for sports while in secondary school, prefering [[preferring]] athletics....He disliked games played with a ball. On one occasion during a class match a member of his form's team was absent. None of the spectators volunteered to fill in and they drew lots. As luck would have it Berezik won the draw and he had to play. Nefer before in his life did he hold a table--tennis bat in his hand and he was beaten miserably. His schoolmates just laughed at him because all he did was pick up the ball from the floor. He decided then to live down his disgrace, he refused to remain the laughing stock of the school because of a tiny celluloid ball. .He played more and more often, at first only with his schoolmates. He lost many times but learnt fast and soon it was not so very easy to beat him. Before long he was the best table-tennis player of his school. At a match between schools his playing attracted the attention of local experts and he was invited to join the team of the Hosiery Mill in Gyula. At 16 he was a frequent contestant in the youth competitions and gradually won more and more matches. He struck notice not only with his ability but also with his great ambition. 
In 1953 he joined the team of the Budapest Railway Builders and trained for his matches at home in Gyula. In was not very convenient to make long trips to Budapest and back, but by now he was playing 
[[second column]] not simply for spite, he actually loved this sport. He had great plans: he hoped to win the national youth title, then participate in adult competitions and possibly win selection to the national team. 

By GYORGY LAKATOS General Secretary Hungarian Table-Tennis Association

He moved to Budapest in 1955 to attend a course of instructions for traffic control on the Hungarian National Railways. That year was a turning point in his career as a table-tennis player. Often he saw the "great ones", Side and Koczian, play and he learnt from them not only when he watched them but also when they played with him. He trained 5 to 6 hours daily  and eliminated his technical shortcomings one by one, and what is unfortunately, unique among Hungarian table-tennis

[[column 3]] players, he increased his stamina and flexibility with athletics. Hungarian table-tennis official watched with increasing interest this ald who won the national youth championship with imposing mastery. The year 1956 passed like all the others but the "great ones" found it harder to beat the young player. 
In the second half of 1956 his career in the table-tennis world began to soar like a meteor. From November 1956 till April 1956 he participated in no less than eight great international competitions. He won the international championships of Austria, Rumania, Yugoslavia and Italy. At these competitions he defeated the best table-tennis players of Europe; and then came the world's championship ......At the Stockholm World's Championship team competitions he was the most dependable member of the Hungarian team, and according to experts was one of the favourites of the tournament. He did not win it ....Tanaka, a member of the brilliant Japanese team which was in a class all by itself,

[[PHOTO CAPTION]] Zoltan Berczik (right) in action against Ogimura whom he beat in the men's singles title of the English International Table-Tennis Tournament. [[PHOTO CAPTION]]

[[PHOTOGRAPH]]

32 NATIONAL SPORTS

[[page 2]] defeated him in the finals of the best eight, and then everyone felt that with this victory Tanaka would be the world's champion. That was what happened. 
Following Stockholm the national teams of Hungary and Japan met in Budapest. In the preliminary matches Berczik easily won two sets against Tanaka, and on the final day of the meet he won against Tsunoda and again confidenty defeated world champion Tanaka amidst 

"BERCZIK IS THE MAN AND NEXT WORLD CHAMPION" 
-Said Ogimura

the enthusiastic cheers of the spectators. Only Ogimura, eight times world's champion, was able to beat him 21-19 with great difficulty in the decisive set. Then Ogimura said: "Berczik is your man of the future,, he will be the next world chamption in 1959. And it seems that Berczik is well on his way to prove it. It was an irony of fate that he proved Ogimura's prophecy by defeating him. This was how he won the singles event of the English international tournament. we hope to see the second par of Ogimura's prophecy come true, and that the diligent, brilliant young player will score many more victories for Hungarian table-tennis and Hungarian fans. 

[[column 2]]
And from what we already know of the "Teddy bear" we have no doubts that he will live up to expectations. 

[[PHOTOGRAPH]]
[[PHOTO CAPTION]] The photograph above shows Berczik (Hungary) and Tanaka (Japan). Tanaka lost to the Hungarian in the preliminary match. [[PHOTO CAPTION]]

INDIAN REFEREE PRAISED
Mr. Protul Chakravarty, the Calcutta referee appointed by the All-Indian Football Federation, to conduct the second qualifying match between China and Indonesia in the World Football Championship at Peking recently was accorded high praise by the Chinese spectators for "faithful performance of his duty and maintenance of the laws justly."
Mr. Chang Lien-Hua, General Secretary of the All-China Athletic Federation, in a letter to Mr. P. Gupta, President of the AIFF says: "Mr. P. Chakravarty, who was appointed by your federation to act as the referee in the second qualifying match between China and Indonesia for the World Football Championship -the Jules Rimmer Cup, 1958 -performed his duty faithfully and maintained the laws justly.
The letter added: "Our spectators accorded him much praise. We would like to express our heart-felt thanks to your federation".
China won by four goals to three. 

NATIONAL SPORTS 33


ONLY OGIMURA -EIGHT TIMES WORLD CHAMPION- WAS ABLE TO BEAT HUNGARY'S BERCZIK
defeated him in the finals of the best eight, and then everyone felt that with this victory Tanaka would be the world's champion. That was what happened. 
Following Stockholm the national teams of Hungary and Japan met in Budapest. In the preliminary matches Berczik easily won two sets against Tanaka, and on the final day of the meet he won against day of the meet he won against Tsunoda and again confidently defeated the world champion Tanaka amidst

"BERCZIC IS THE MAN AND NEXT WORLD CHAMPION"
- Said Ogimura

the enthusiastic cheers of the spectators. Only Ogimura, eight times world's champion, was able to beat him 21-19 with great difficulty in the decisive set. Then Ogimura said : "Bercezik is your man of the future, he will be the next world champion in 1959. And it seems that Berczik is well on his way to prove it. It was an irony of fate that he proved Ogimura's prophecy by defeating him. This was how he won the singles event of the English international tournament. we hope to see the second part of Ogimura's prophecy come true, and that the diligent, brilliant young player wills core many more victories for Hungarian table-tennis and Hungarian fans. 




Transcription Notes:
Photographs and columns possibly not noted correctly

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.