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What is in common between
table tennis and Elbrus?
Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe
Its west summit stands at 5,642 metres
The most high-altitude table tennis match in human history is going to take place on one of the Elbrus peaks in the end of July - beginning of August, 2009.

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Sergey Jeanovich, You are recognized as the person, infatuated with own affairs. So, how did the idea to play table tennis match on Elbrus appear? What was the real goal of the expedition for You personally – either the desire to promote table tennis to populace or even the greater desire to break the world record?

The idea appeared by pure accident. But it fascinated us and gave the chance to avoid barren spending of our lives. At first, it was not an idea indeed, it was just an adventurous offering. And the great project grew from the offer, which intertwined fates and characters of various people, and we managed to understand ourselves in deeper and better way owing to the project. Own abilities and own nature, own energetics. Besides, team work with people, you did not cooperate before, gives the opportunity to Your soul to get in touch with other souls and discover new levels of development for yourself (and others too) and onward progress. The target of the expedition was the examination of the possibility of the group of simple enthusiasts, not specially selected professionals, to realize something that nobody had ever made. The majority of people thinks that everything great and unusual takes place somewhere else, but not in their lives. Other people make interesting things, but we live a simple existence, and have no real opportunities. So, I wanted to show that it does not act in such way indeed, and we can do everything, and You know, "Where there’s a will there’s a way".

Everything else is offspring tasks. Of course, it also means the development of table tennis in terms of the widening of opportunities of the game. In any age, and in any place. It became the demonstration that Asian sportsmen have not occupied all peaks of the contemporary table tennis yet. And we managed to do it, thus, we can win them at traditional sport grounds?

It was also the demonstration that Slavic nations did not lose own energetics in historical and geo-political aspect. And finally, we have to do something remarkable in our lives.

The first question, appearing in my head, after hearing of such event should be worded as follows "How did You manage to bring tennis table on the peak?" In fact, it is not a racket or a ball, which could be put to Your backpack. What is the weight of the standard table? Fifty, or even sixty kilograms?

The standard tennis table weighs within ranges of 60 - 150 kg, depending on own grade and accessories, and we could not even dream to bring such table at the peak. That is why, the special unique table was worked out and produced for the project, the table can be easily disjointed at 16 parts, we unscrewed and piled table legs too. Every part weighs 1400 g. In fully stowed position, the table is easily housed in the bag with dimensions of 70х40х40. The development and production of the table took nearly three months. We and Alexander Meyerovich, the constructor and manufacturer of the table, passed through all stages of the table production – from choosing of the proper material for the table surface, mounting system for table fragments against each other and table legs, to painting, placement of sponsor logotypes and packaging.

As a result, the table weighs less than 25 kg, it is easily framed and disassembled, it provides rather comfortable playground, and in mounted condition, the table looks like any other standard table for table tennis.

The possibility to produce such table became one of the most key еterm for the successful realization of the project.

It is possible that the commercial-scale production of such tables in the future will allow increasing the number of places fit for playing table tennis.

Did You provided somewhat "test games"? Did You set up the table for a time?

We assembled and completely took down the table two times before the match. We tested it and became convinced that it suits for the game. We did not set up the table for a time, but estimated that 2-4 persons can assemble the table during 5-10 minutes. And the estimation became confirmed at the peak.

The height of over 5 thsd meters is really serious cause.. And You had also to bear such cargo on the back. Were You so self-confident? Did You face the critical moment, when You think about the chance to try realizing the expedition another time, it was Your first climb, pilot climbing, one might say, and the weather also made difficulties.

We were not so much confident in our forces, as followed the appeal of М.Zhvanetsky to "experience troubles as available".

Stas Bondar, Vadim Kotlyar, and Yaroslav Pasechnik provided the additional success confidence, during discussions they expressed the synonymous confidence in success of the project. Only the weather provided some doubts to me, but we had a great luck at the sphere. Of course, the ascend showed that I underestimated difficulties of high locating in the latitude. At the altitude of 5 300 m the group of six participants could not continue the route and turned back, which made the realization of our main task more difficult. Fortunately, only Stas Bondar, who also turned back, had the necessary load. So, I took his backpack, Alexander Shkalikov took mine, and we managed to bring the all necessary weight for the match to the peak. It was very hard for me to mount the last 300 m. I gasped for breath and took rest every two minutes.

Tell about the match itself. What did You feel, when You composed the table, spread out the banner and made the first ball service?

When a person has some business in his life, which requires for his careful attention, he does not put off his attention to anything else, and even does not feel pain at times. While we chose the place, set up the table and prepared for the match, I felt weariness, breathlessness, heaviness of the equipment and etc. But after the beginning of the match, I was engaged to the game and fight to gain a victor. Besides, at the beginning of the match I faced some difficulties – I lose the first set to Viktor Kannynikov, but then the success turned to my side. During the game at the peak, I did not realized that I was playing table tennis at the top of Elbrus. At the moment, it was table tennis only with the capital T for me.

What did the game mean for You? Did the match become the possibility to proof that nothing impossible exists, or You planned to get to the Guinness Book of Records and the CIS book of records?

The successful realization of the match became the special live stage for me. New people entered my life, the group of persons, who feel the same way I do, and I managed to make the common great affair, we fixed the new level in abilities and opportunities of the man. And the Book of Records is the bonus. The main thing of the project means that we did it, we deserved it, and managed to do it. And all the rest became the desired enclosure - less than or equal to.

What are You plans for the future? Do You really plan to play a table tennis match on the Mount Everest?

After returning from Elbrus, I received a lot of offers to play table tennis in various conditions. Including matches on a float in a cave on the surface of underground lake or in the functioning mine, to development of new peaks from Hoverla to Everest. I do not see any qualitative novelty at such offers. And I do not want to turn my life into the collection of single-type records. It does not seem to be interesting for me. The following projects should give me the opportunity to clear up and check myself at the completely other qualitative level. We can only wait and see what it will be. I have some ideas.

Why did it succeed?

Great idea, effective collective, successful preparation (the table, route and etc.), luckiness with weather conditions and associated participants, the mutual support, faith in the success, support of sponsors and assistants.


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