Thursday 10 May 2012

Romania's New Rising Champion

The last member of my team of amazing endorsees at MHTT Blog has completed an interview. The 2007 European Cadet Champion and this year's Romanian National Mens Champion, Hunor Szocs, is moving onwards and upwards as he continues to improve and move up the World Rankings. Thanks for the interview Hunor!

Name: Hunor Szocs
Age: 20
Date of Birth: March 24th 1992
Nation Represented: Romania
Highest World Ranking: 267

Hunor representing Romania

How and when did you start playing table tennis? Who influenced you during your early years?

I started table tennis when I was 6 years old. My father was singing in a restaurant and a waitress (the wife of a table tennis coach) told him to bring me to the hall, maybe I will like it .. in the end i really liked and I continued.

Obviously you also have your sister Bernadette. The two of you both won the Romanian National Championships mens and womens singles titles this year, how much does that mean for you?

Yes , it was a big surprise for both of us that we won together at the same time Romanian national championships. In the beginning neither of us was the `big` favourite for winning the title. But in the end we did it and it was one of the best feelings ever to be able to win at the same time with your little sister :)

You must be very proud of your sister too, I know when my sister used to play we were very competitive. Who claims to be the better player?

Is not really a competition between us...we are just happy for each other for every success.

What is your most memorable moment in your table tennis career so far?

The most memorable moment until now in my career was in 2007 when i became Euopean Cadet Champion in singles. In the final I was playing against Patrick Franziska. I played with him many times that year and I lost maybe 3 times, I was not really positive about this match. My coach was supporting and helping me with the preparation all over the tournament and he was always telling me to believe and he`s sure that this time is my turn :D When i won last point I could not believe...I just sit down on the floor and I didn`t know what I should do :D so I also owe a big thanks to my coach :D

What are your big goals for this year?

My biggest goal this year was to play Olympic Qualification in the end I did not I guess my next biggest goal will be European Championships :)

How has playing the Swiss League been? Has it been a big factor in developing your game so far?

The Swiss League was not so difficult, the level was not that high. Anyway I had not so many matches so this year I had a lot of time to practise. Next year I will go back in German League...I already signed the contract :)

Hunor and sister Bernadette playing doubles together

How did you feel about your performance at the recent WTTC?

I was not in the best shape of my life at WTTC, but I played ok...and I got 50 places higher after this tournament. The team qualified for 1st Division for next time so in the end it was a good tournament :)

Is it stressful to travel so much? I mean you live in Romania, train in Ochsenhausen and play league in Switzerland. Must get tiring!

It's not easy but it is also not that tiring. My Swiss club is only 1 hr 30 minutes away bu train from Ochsenhausen and in Romania I am not going that often. Only for holidays and every 2 months maybe a week for University.

Are you excited to be moving to a new club? Tell us a bit about the club and your new teammates.

It's not so easy to leave from Ochsenhausen. I've been here for more than 3 years so it was a really hard decision. But now I am really excited to move to Bremen. I will also have 2 teammates from national team there, the coach is also Romanian. So I feel that it is the right place for me there. The club where I will play is only 30 minutes away from Breme. Will be a really good training group: Chuang Chih-Yuan, Adrian Crisan, Paul Drinkhall, Constantin Cioti, Achanta Sharath Kamal, Me, Adrian Dodean, Gavin Evans and maybe Jan Zibrat. So I feel it will be the perfect place for me!

What do you think table tennis needs to be a more popular spectator sport?

Table tennis must be a more popular sport for sure. We work really hard!

What do you enjoy doing while you aren't playing table tennis?

I like to go out with friends, play Playstation and sometimes I really enjoy going fishing with my father when I am home in the summer.

If you could describe your teammates in one word what would it be?
Adrian Crisan: Serious
Ovidiu Ionescu: Worker
Constantin Cioti: Unexpectable

If you won a million dollars what would you spend it on first?

I really don't know what I would spend it on. I have some ideas now but when you really have this money you are probably thinking in a different way.

What advice can you give to table tennis players who wish to succeed?

To be serious, to work a lot and to be patient until the results are coming.

Thanks for the time Hunor :)

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