Ping pong. Tonight, GV Hennebont bids farewell to a mythical cauldron: table tennis

Pro A (Day 18): GV Hennebont TT – Pontoise, this Tuesday (7.30pm)

“Sometimes I trained there in après-ski and with gloves,” laughs Gilles Guymare, a former chairman of GV Hennebont’s table tennis section, who remembers fighting to keep the Gal Gal-Le Nouène room from collapsing. ”In the early eighties.

At the time, the municipality (which bought it in 1994) did not want to put a single franc into the diocese’s facilities. I had asked for a waterproofing and for a new boiler. ” Because for a long time it rained often in this room where it was (very) cold in winter and (very) hot in summer.

“It’s a little Bercy here!”

In addition, Gilles Guymare has certainly done (very) well to prolong the love story between this club, then a rising star of Breton table tennis, and this room built in 1954 and which had already lived a good few hours between regional or national boxing meetings. or gym, in particular. This story had begun secretly in the basement, before the club reached the National level. Then go up a gear.

And when Cep Lorient (basketball) had stopped for economic reasons (1989), Loïc Mathieu for France 3 was looking for a new indoor sport to continue in the crowd. He had come to see the N1 (then 2nd national level) and exclaimed: “Here’s a little Bercy! “One of the stands was full and made a hell of a racket. It destabilized our opponents, who were not used to an atmosphere like this,” recalls Gilles Guymare. These were just the beginning …

“This little room has crossed the borders of France”

In the 1990s, the story continued with a Pro A women’s team that also played in the European Cup, before going through financial worries.

And the atmosphere went up, again! – by various degrees in the 2000s, with the search for the men’s Pro A and the successes that accompanied the rise of this small club that had grown up and even essential in France, which culminated in four national titles (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009). ) in the form of holdings.

Bruno Abraham, president of the club for twenty years, can only agree: “We called it a boiler because all the Pro A or European clubs enjoyed coming to play at Hennebont in a popular atmosphere. This small room has gone beyond the borders of France to be known and recognized today on the planet ping.

Aside from a few Chinese, the best players in the world, at least those who play in Europe, have come to Hennebont.

“Apart from a few Chinese, the best players in the world, at least those who play in Europe, have all come to Hennebont: Boll, Samsonov, Ovtcharov, still welcomes Gilles Guymare, who has become a mere informed spectator. One season, we even had the best team in Europe with Kreanga, Olympic champion Ryu Seung-Min and Bai, who was injured just before the Champions League semi-final … The atmosphere was great! “.

In addition, it will not be without emotion that Bruno Abraham and many table tennis players – from Hennebont or not – will see, this Tuesday, their favorite team leave a venue renamed as Charles-Abraham, following the death of the who was the club’s leader in the 1990s. “Certainly more than I could have imagined,” admits the president who made GVHTT what it has become today. There I discovered table tennis as a simple father. I’ve been going there almost every day for 35 years, with fantastic moments like the Pro A, crazy matches with between 1,200 and 1,300 people in the room, four French championship titles, a European Cup final in front of a house full to the brim and a crazy atmosphere … “. But also at the beginning of the course, the” Hennebont Ping Center “equipment that makes table tennis in Europe look green with envy.

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