Sports / Events

The Reporter Diaries #8: (Table Tennis & Fencing) Melding mind with body

Athletes from Table Tennis and Fencing explain what drew them to their sports.

Sport often conjures ideas of brawn, muscle or innate talent. But not all sports are won and lost with physicality. Some sports, such as table tennis, require athletes to think rapidly, react and strategize during competition.

At 28 year’s old, this will be Katharina Michajlova’s final Universiade. The German table tennis player, who has also competed in two former World University Games, is fluent in English and German and can converse in Spanish, French and Italian.

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Table Tennis is held at Xinzhuang Gymnasiium in New Taipei City for the 2017 Summer Universiade

For Katharina, her attraction to table tennis comes from its combination of athleticism with mental challenge,

“It’s very complex, you have to be fast and quick, but also have endurance”

With players contending around four matches a day for the four-day competition at this year’s Taipei Universiade, tennis athletes must be fit both in body and mind.

Katharina also explained how she has watched the sport develop over the years

“The speed of play and intensity has increased dramatically. The sport has progressed a lot physically since I have been playing”

The sport of fencing is also a rapid, strategic sport.

Lukas Bellmann, a member of the German fencing team, explains that the sport is “like a chess game in the head but with movement of the entire body”

When asked why they believed their sports were so special, the athletes responses similarly, saying that its combination of intellectuality and physicality made it so special. It’s brains with brawn, speed and decisiveness.

How multi-sport events can provide an insight in to new worlds of sport.

Multi-sport events offer a window in to a world of different sports. There are 22 sports in total at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei City, including Roller Sports and Wushu who are making their first appearance at the games and Billiards, an exhibition sport at the event.

Laura Quilter, (NZL) FISU Young Reporter Programme

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