Meet 80-year-old that still plays table tennis

• By Michael Uugwanga

THE great thing about table tennis is that you can play competitively – and to a decent standard – in your 60s, 70s and even 80s.

But as we age, some aspects of table tennis become a little more challenging and the most obvious is the physical side of the game while also get a little slower, a little weaker and we have less spring in our step.

But that is not the case, in fact her commitment to the game resembles that of someone who has the sport in their heart, as  she has the game written all over her lifestyle something that modern day athletes lack.

Mrozek who turns 80 in November this year started playing the sport at the age of 18 in her country of birth, Germany, before migrating to Namibia in search of a better life but only to rekindle her romance with her favourite sport in 1981 when she won over 52 titles to date.

She holds the record of 15 single ladies titles.

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Mrozek is currently living a solitary life at a farm, some 40km outside Windhoek on the way to the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) – following the death of her husband in 2012.

At the twilight of his career during the apartheid days, the table tennis ace was ranked South Africa’s number three in the sports.

Today she is still devoted to the sport pledging to render her assistance to other players when needed.

This week Confidente set down with Mrozek, following her triumph wins last weekend at the Namibia Table Tennis Association (NTTA) Namibian Open event that was held at Wanderers in Windhoek, to talk about her continuing win in the sport.

Mrozek won the single ladies trophy and the double mixed with her long time table tennis partner Reinholt Schurz.

“Playing table tennis all started in Germany, when my brother and his friends used to play table tennis and that time I used to do gymnastics, but after trying table tennis that is when I developed the love for it. In Germany I managed to win three successive ladies singles.

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I came to Namibia in 1981, first I came to visit my sister and that is when I met my late husband.  I continue playing table tennis. I keep myself fit through eating healthy food. I train only twice a week, Monday and Thursday. I like chocolate a lot. It was a good felling to win again.

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This was also my first tournament in two years since I did not play since the outbreak of Covid-19. I also do some bit of gymnastics,” said Mrozek.

Mrozek has been at six world championships and has always been in the round of 16.

She said she has no intention of stopping playing.

Mrozek personifies a Namibian version of the former and now late world’s oldest table tennis player, Dorothy de Low (102).

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De Low is the Grand Old Lady of table tennis in Australia and she is widely known all over the world, wherever she has played the game.

“I cannot say now when I will stop playing. I will continue to play as long I am fit, unless my body said otherwise,” said Mrozek.

His partner Schurz described Mrozek as a true legend of table tennis and that he enjoys playing alongside the veteran player.

“She is one of the best players. She is so dedicated and hardworking and put a lot in the sport,” said Schurz.