Getting to Grips with Organization, Danny Seemiller Looking Ahead
Courtesy of ITTF
Top spot in the group but then a first round exit in the Men’s Singles 60 to 64 years event, beaten by Russia’s Vladimir Tudvasev (13-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-9) was the lot of Danny Seemiller of the United States at the 2016 World Veteran Championships in Alicante/Elche.
There was an air of disappointment for the man who has a special place in the annals of sport; just as you have the “Fosbury Flop”, you have the “Seemiller Backhand”.
Perhaps Danny Seemiller did not quite revolutionize table tennis as Dick Fosbury did high jumping in 1968 at the Mexico Olympic Games with his “back first” technique.
However, the technique of using the forehand side of the racket on the backhand with a special version of the shake-hands grip has reserved the now 61-year-old American a special place in sport.
Playing in the tournament is one of the reasons Danny Seemiller is in Alicante/Elche; the other is to sign the documents and promote the 2018 World Veteran Championships, which is destined for Las Vegas in 2018.
On Friday 27th May, the signing was completed and it was a very positive Danny Seemiller who alongside, Gordon Kaye, the Chief Executive Officer of USA Table Tennis and David Sakai, had met with members of the Swaythling Club International.
“I didn’t play that well but I’m very impressed with everything here; especially the way everything is set up, the SMS system is marvelous”, said Danny Seemiller. “The table managers, the umpires, the volunteers have all worked together to produce success.”
The task now is for Las Vegas to match the Spanish effort, which has undoubtedly set new standards for the World Veteran Championships.
One problem that can arise in major tournaments is that of transport; in Las Vegas there would appear to be an easy answer.
“The monorail passes every seven minutes; it connects the hotels”, said David Sakai, the local organizer in Las Vegas. “Travel from hotels to venue is very easy.”
An upbeat approach, the response from Gordon Kaye was similar.
“When the tournament was held in New Zealand two years ago I was not involved in table tennis; I’m from Pro Hockey”, explained Gordon Kaye. “Here the number of people who are playing is quite incredible; it is more than just a tournament, it’s a coming together of people from different countries.”
Pleased with what he sees, Gordon Kaye has a sound philosophy.
“Don’t mess with success!” stressed Gordon Kaye. “Here the organization is very good; there are very few hiccups, there is great organization; they have done what is important, they paid attention to detail.”
Everything is Big
Impressed but Gordon Kaye is confident that Las Vegas will be special.
“The whole concept of the United States is that everything is big; Alicante is really beautiful, Las Vegas is the glitz and the glamour”, added Gordon Kaye. “In Las Vegas there is something for everybody; you watch a show, take a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon, go hiking in Red Rocks Canyon, enjoy the very best food from celebrity chefs, Las Vegas is much more than gambling!”
Many special events in Las Vegas and the staging of the 2016 World Veteran Championships is very special.
“For Danny and David it is really special, they are the motivating forces”, concluded Gordon Kaye. “I assure you when we won the bid there were tears in their eyes.”
The 2018 World Veteran Championships will be held staged the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Visit the 18th World Veteran Championships website for complete results and information.