The table club at Caen Tennis, which became European champion in 1999, finally returns to the heights

On Tuesday, June 14, the players of the Caen Table Tennis club prostrate themselves on their chairs, their heads in their hands, their faces covered with a towel. His dreams of becoming the champion of France were crushed at the last step. The Caen table tennis players, in an ideal position before the end of the season, lost 3-1 at home against La Romagne (Maine-et-Loire) in a full home (around 1,200 people). It was necessary to score at least two points on this decisive evening. Caen will have scored just one goal, leaving Kase to the victorious Angers on their side. One member of the club tearfully slides in, “It’s sport, that’s why we love it and hate it.”

“Worst possible scenario”

For Caen TTC, which returned to the top in 2019, history came in two frames of being magnificent. Antoine Hachard scores two match points from the first meeting of the evening that will put the Normans on the royal road. The 28-year-old player said after the unfortunate encounter, “I’m taking it for myself, I’m the one who lost the match.” The “worst possible scenario” at the end of the 2021/2022 season nevertheless confirms the undeniable progress of the Calvados club. Pro B champion in 2019, 8th in Pro A in 2020, 5th in 2021 and thus 2nd this year.

2019 not only marked the club’s return to Pro A, but also the 20th anniversary of Caen TTC’s European champion title created just eight years ago. “This title was a one-off game involving huge financial risk. In the back, the partners did not follow, and the club found itself in great difficulty, ”says chairman Bertrand Arcil. In Pro B in 2005, then in 2009 and even at the third French level National 1 in 2011, for an instant recovery. Bertrand Arcil, who arrived in 2014, is determined to put the forward movement back on the long-term, says “the new management still owed money on its post-European title.”

Due to the lack of media visibility, table tennis clubs have to recruit pilgrim staff to find partners in addition to subsidies. Caen creates a budget of approximately 500,000 Euros, from a partnership of 10,000 Euros in 2014 to over 200,000 Euros today. “We need another 100,000 to play in Europe,” said the President. The admission ticket for the continental games really pays off. But in fact, Caen TTC’s goal for this cursed June 14, along with another goal he mentioned: to become the French Pro A champion. By 2024, the plan announced by Bertrand Arcil in 2021 makes this wish come true.

From next season? “Most clubs have signed with great leaders. Caen TTC player Stéphane Ouaiche said we were close this season, we believe it for next season but it will be even harder,” says. He is an important part of the club along with Antoine Hachard and coach Xavier Renouvin. Niagol who has gone elsewhere Like Stoyanov, he will be replaced by Kirill Skachkov, a Russian who already plays in France. Wang Yang, the team’s injured leader at the end of this season, will be there. in their formula they will try to forget the trauma of this defeat on the gong.

Behind the scenes, the management team will continue to work to strengthen the structure by seeking out partners. After the good course of this season, he will be able to request a rich business card. “We need to prove that we are doing well in our sport. Promises of results are not enough,” explains the leader. The reinforced image of the club should facilitate some contacts and perhaps arouse the curiosity of some national sponsors. All will be able to see the footage of the Jean-Eudes room egg-filled against Romagna on Tuesday 14 June Opening in 2021, this new environment presents new prospects for the club, with among other things more space for partners. With 500 to 600 spectators for most of their matches, Caen is one of the championship’s hottest hosts. The appointment is made to vibrate again next year. If the Caen TTC sticks to its latest momentum, this might be the right one.

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