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    1. Top | #1
      Matt Hetherington is offline
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      Gionis Panagiotis Interview

      See the original content and other international player interviews at http://matthetherington.blogspot.com

      Gionis the Greek God of Ping Pong


      It was my pleasure to continue interviewing some of the sport's greatest players in Europe this week, one player who had caught my eye at the recent European Championships in Gdansk, Poland was Gionis Panagiotis of Greece. Gionis has a unique style and showed complete class in defeating Bastian Steger, one of Germany's finest players. Gionis was kind enough to do this interview with me, thanks Gionis!

      Name: Gionis Panagiotis
      Age: 31
      Date of Birth: 07/01/1980
      Nation Represented: Greece
      Highest World Ranking: 36



      Gionis on defence
      Image courtesy of ITTF

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      Career

      How long have you been playing table tennis for, when and how did you start?
      I'm playing since 1989...and I started for fun in a small club near my house.

      Who has been the biggest influence on your career so far?
      That I really love it by myself!

      What does your training schedule for a week period involve?
      Monday Wednesday Friday 2 times practise 2.30 hours each and Tuesday Thursday one time 2.30 hours and sometimes weekend!

      What is your next big goal for table tennis?
      Olympic Games in London

      What do you think is the most important thing in table tennis for becoming a successful player on the international stage?
      Many hours of practise first and then physical, cleverness and good psychology!

      You have an interesting style in that you chop on your backhand and switch between slow return and offensive play on your forehand. What inspired that style for you?
      When I was young my coach said that I must be a defender because in attack I was not so good...but this style with attack in forehand I first try it 21 years old because I understood that for making a bigger step in my career I must be more aggressive player so I must attack more to compete with the top players...and I did it!


      Gionis in the Champions League
      Image Courtesy of GV Hennebont TTC

      Why do you think China currently dominate the sport?
      Because they start very young and they have very good organisation for this sport. They work a lot for this and the coaches are top.

      Do you think Greece has a strong future in European table tennis compared to other nations like France and Germany?
      I think in Greece is not so easy like these countries because table tennis is amateur and the children first look to study and then to find the time for table tennis...but the federation and the coaches are trying a lot.


      Off the topic Questions

      Who's your favourite sportsperson of all time?
      Lionel Messi

      Favourite food?
      Chicken

      What do you do when you aren't playing table tennis?
      Football on Playstation

      Dream Car?
      Ferarri

      Ideal Holiday Destination?
      Exotic Island

      First thing you would do if you won $1million?
      I buy one very nice house


      Your Team Mates

      Who's the funniest player in the training hall?
      Leuteris Makras

      Who trains the hardest in the training hall?
      Kalinikos Kreanga

      Who has the best nickname?
      Tasos Riniotis (peroukas)


      And Lastly

      Would you like to add one last tip, or an inspirational message for other table tennis players looking to succeed?
      That if you want to reach a top level player only the talent is not enough...need a lot of work and many hours of practise!



      Gionis defeats Bastian Steger in the Euro Team Quarterfinals
      Pro Table Tennis Coaching Blog at - MHTableTennis

    2. Top | #2
      YosuaYosan is offline
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      6 out of 5 stars !
      His english is a bit out-of-tune tho haha

      Dayum when will you post the Joo interview
      Last edited by YosuaYosan; 10-30-2011 at 05:04 AM.
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    3. Top | #3
      Dan is offline
      says The 1 set showdown vs the
      Mighty German head coach is
      out!
       
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      Awesome interview! Thanks Matt!

      It's interesting that he didn't start to implement his forehand attack until 21! His forehand looks so good, like he has been doing it since a young kid!

      Excellent stuff

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S2 using tapatalk

    4. Top | #4
      Matt Hetherington is offline
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      lol Yosua I actually have to GET the Joo interview first and it isn't easy. I have a lot on my plate in the next week so I'm just cruising atm and going with the flow

    5. Top | #5
      azlan is offline
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      Hi Matt, just got enough time to read through the interview. nice one buddy. I never knew that this guy even existed in the tour. A real eye opener. He's a huge fella, isn't he? He dwarfed the table..I had to look around him to see where the ball landed on the table hehehe. Very spinny FH.
      What do you think is the most important thing in table tennis for becoming a successful player on the international stage?
      Many hours of practise first and then physical, cleverness and good psychology!
      I like this because he highlighted wits and psychology. He was spot on there.
      To improve, we must enjoy the game and above all have fun



    6. Top | #6
      Matt Hetherington is offline
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      He's a quiet achiever his name isn't really out in the field for everyone. I just remember watching some of his matches and admiring his style, he hits some stunning curveballs!

    7. Top | #7
      WiWa is offline
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      You don't see him too much around indeed. But when you see his name in a YouTube-vid, watch it! His style is really cool and his chops are tight

    8. Top | #8
      Matt Hetherington is offline
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      I just said to Liam Pitchford if he beat Tiago Apolonia at Fifa then Tiago had to do an interview for me. Liam won 6-0 and asked for me. Got the contact so hopefully my next interview will be with Tiago Apolonia that's how it's done folks

    9. Top | #9
      Dan is offline
      says The 1 set showdown vs the
      Mighty German head coach is
      out!
       
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      Quote Originally Posted by PingPongPom View Post
      I just said to Liam Pitchford if he beat Tiago Apolonia at Fifa then Tiago had to do an interview for me. Liam won 6-0 and asked for me. Got the contact so hopefully my next interview will be with Tiago Apolonia that's how it's done folks
      Haha that is awesome! Liam Pitchford is living the dream!

    10. Top | #10
      WiWa is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by PingPongPom View Post
      I just said to Liam Pitchford if he beat Tiago Apolonia at Fifa then Tiago had to do an interview for me. Liam won 6-0 and asked for me. Got the contact so hopefully my next interview will be with Tiago Apolonia that's how it's done folks
      Haha you should train him at FIFA to play other top players as well Looking forward to the interview!! Ur doing great work man

    11. Top | #11
      Matt Hetherington is offline
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      Yea he is, I actually just sent him some new questions so I can write something about his new perch as English Number 1 and just asked him a bit about where his next pitstop is on the trail and how he felt about Euro champs etc. Hes a really neat guy, very approachable and willing to do all this stuff. And yea definitely Living the Dream!

    12. Top | #12
      gdounas is offline
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      hurray to panagiotis ! i remember preparing with my other team mates for the national team qualifiers (junior) many many years ago , and his talent and skills where known all over greece's table tennis clubs . after i stopped playing for 10 years and started to play and watch TT matches again 3 months ago i never expected i would see him reach such a high level . he did a wise choice to pursue his career out side of greece because here TT isnt so popular . go gionis !

    13. Top | #13
      Matt Hetherington is offline
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      He is a very skillful player, last year I remember him beating Bastian Steger in the Euro Champs team event was awesome!

    14. Top | #14
      Rhydian is offline
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      Awsome
      I found it!!
      Thanks!
      Is he going to the World Team Championships in Dortmund?

    15. Top | #15
      Matt Hetherington is offline
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      Hrmm will have to get back to you on that one, I will ask him as soon as I can. If I don't then send me a reminder message or comment on my profile or something

    16. Top | #16
      Rhydian is offline
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      Thanks
      You won't forget it

    17. Top | #17
      Matt Hetherington is offline
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      I asked him last night, he said he is going

    18. Top | #18
      Rhydian is offline
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      Yeah
      Thanks a lot!
      I'm looking forward to it

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