Nordhorn Brettchen Open 2005 at 04.06.2005

Franz-Josef Hürmann is Germany's best hardbat player

Nordhorn (HH). In the fifth implementation of Nordhorn Brettchen Open, the most important Hardbat table tennis tournament in Germany, this year just for the second time a player won who plays all his table tennis matches with a simple pimpled rubber bat. Franz-Josef Hürmann from the Westphalian TTF Bönen this time referred the amateur hardbat players partially several leagues above him playing on the courts. Again, the Nordhorn tournament was very well staffed in terms of performance, where with the Californian Al Papp a participant even extra from the U.S.A., the motherland of Hardbat table tennis, had traveled.

Already in the previous year at his first participation all the experts had expected the success of Hürmann, that he could realize now one year late. Exciting moments at his matches came only once, when he had to go in the fifth game in the semi-final against Ulrich Watermann (TTSV Schloss Holte-Sende). In parallel, also the other semi-final was hard fought, before the narrow victory of Johannes Hinrichs (TTG Niederkassel) over the 2003 winner, Gernot Metzenbauer of the Hanoverian TTSG Wennigsen, was clear. In the final of two defensive players Hürmann then had little trouble with Hinrichs - frequently the former Bundesliga player made his points with offensive shots. For one special success in Nordhorn, however, Hürmann, who in 1977 already has been American hardbat champion, has still to wait: In the doubles final at the side of Ulrich Watermann he again was only runner-up, while Niko Marek (SV Bolzum) and Gernot Metzenbauer won for the third time in a row.

In the inaugural men II competition for amateur hardbat players from district leagues the local actors dominated. Reinhold Nüsse (Spvgg Brandlecht-Hestrup) used his experience from four hardbat county championships in his final win against Andre Schramm (TTC Nordhorn), while in doubles the random combination Friedrich Gerrietzen (SV Eintracht Nordhorn) and Hansi Teille (Hannover 96) won against hardbat veteran Reinhold and hardbat newbie Dietmar Nüsse (both SpVgg. Brandlecht-Hestrup).

After 2nd place last year Ulrich Schäfer from the East Westphalian TSV Eintracht Belle managed this time the individual victory in the men's III for the players of county level. In the doubles competition the father-son combination Rudi and Marco Knospe by the host SV Eintracht Nordhorn dominated. In the youth class Lars Brinkhaus of the Verbandsliga team of SV Olympia Laxten repeated both of his last year's tournament victories in singles and doubles expectedly.

In total there were 41 active and 8 youth players from Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, including two female players, who met on Saturday in Nordhorn to determine the best in the game with the "Brettchen" called simple pimpled rubber bats with short pimples outwards and without sponge. These very simple bats, having been the standard in the table tennis world until 50 years ago, cause a very different game than the today's more technically souped rackets with super grippy and turbo-charged surfaces. It is no wonder that this version of table tennis sport is gaining more and more followers and that in many places in Germany hardbat tournaments are held now.