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Production with tradition. Making table tennis blades during the 1950s. Photo: STIGA
DURING A PRESS CONFERENCE before the Swedish Open Championships in Stockholm in November 2011, Chinese men’s team national coach, Liu Guoliang, was asked how he regarded the threat from Germany. He answered that Germany was good but that the country he respected the most was still Sweden.
The answer may be considered as being a polite comment, paying respects to the host but it did show a mark of reverence to a small country in northern Europe which, from time to time, has overshadowed the huge country of China in its national sport.
Unquestionably, without STIGA this would not have happened. Without STIGA, Sweden would have had no world champions because it was STIGA, who back in 1944, started to produce their own table tennis equipment; always with the aim to do better and better, until they became number one. In close collaboration with the Swedish Table Tennis Association they made table tennis a sport for every Swede.
Number one in the world. Stellan Bengtsson, the first ever Swedish men ́s singles world champion. Photo: Scanpix