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Different Eras but Krisztina Toth Remains Hungary’s Pivotal Player
Alongside the host nation Germany and the reigning European champions, the Netherlands; Hungary is the one other country from the old continent, to appear on the entry list for women’s event at the forthcoming Liebherr World Team Cup, to be staged in the Germany city of Magdeburg, from Thursday 3rd to Sunday 6th November 2011.
It is nothing unusual, quite the reverse.
Hungary has appeared in the female event at the every World Team Cup since the competition started in 1990 in Hokkaido, Japan and they have one player who has been present more times than any other in the history of the competition.
The player is question is Krisztina Toth; no player male or female can match her record.
She made her debut in 1991 in Barcelona, Spain when only 17 years old and she has been present ever since.
The only occasion she has not played in a Women’s World Team Cup was in the very first in 1990, when the Hungarians selected Csilla Batorfi, Edit Urban and Gabriella Wirth.
In 1991 it was fifth place for Hungary but Krisztina Toth has enjoyed greater success in the competition; in both 1995 and 2007 she concluded proceedings in third place and with a different status in the team.
Aged 21 in 1995, she was the junior member of the team, her team mates were Csilla Batorfi and Vivien Ellö as four years earlier; the tournament being staged in Atlanta, it was the test event for the 1996 Olympic Games.
Voice of Experience
However, 12 years later in 2007, Krisztina Toth was the voice of experience in the Hungarian team; she joined forces with Li Bin, Petra Lovas and Georgina Pota.
Not wishing to make Krisztina Toth feel she has to reach for her pension book yet but Li Bin was three years old when she made her World Team Cup debut.
Third place in 2007 and could that be a good omen for Krisztina Toth?
The tournament was held in Magdeburg just as it will be in 2011.
No doubt, the name of Krisztina Toth will be the first to be pencilled on the team sheet as Peter Teglas, the coach for the Hungarian Women’s Team, submits his nominations for the Liebherr 2011 World Team Cup.
If automatic choices exist in sport, Krisztina Toth is just that; however, even if Peter Teglas has a rush of blood to the head or suffers from a loss of memory and Krisztina Toth does not make her seventh appearance in the competition, she will still lead the field in terms of appearances.
Only one player could possibly match her; if Elena Timina appears for the Netherlands and Krisztina Toth is kidnapped, she will equal the Hungarian’s six appearances.
Elena Timina has played on five previous occasions; she was not on duty in 2007 and 2010.
No other player has competed in the women’s event at a World Team Cup more than four times and none will be in Magdeburg.
All have now bid farewell to the rigours of playing in international competition; Hungary’s Csilla Batorfi, Australia’s Kerri Tepper, Russia’s Irina Palina and Gao Jun of the United States are the next in line with four appearances.
A Notable Number
Four with four appearances and the number four is very much to the fore when it comes to countries ever present in the women’s event at a World Team Cup.
Hungary is one of only four countries to have always been on duty and one of only two to have always competed in the main event.
China Always Present
The others are China, Australia and the United States of America.
China and Hungary have always been amongst the eight invited teams.
Only on one occasion has China not won the event; that was in the French city of Nîmes in 1994, when the trio of Wang Chen, Wu Na and Zhang Ling finished in third place.
The lowest finish for Hungary is fifth place; they have suffered quarter-final defeats on five occasions.
In 2009 and 2010, Australia and the United States of America played in the Intercontinental Cup.
Alas neither succeeded to book a quarter-final place in the main event; the closest being the Americans in 2009.
The trio of Gao Jun, Crystal Huang and Erica Wu won the Intercontinental Cup but suffered defeat in the play-off contest against the Romanian outfit comprising Daniela Dodean, Cristina Hirici and Elizabeta Samara.
Direct to Quarter-Finals
Two years later there is no Romania in the competition, it is Hungary whom the Intercontinetal Cup winners will meet, to decide who progresses to the quarter-finals.
The Europeans starts as favourites to succeed in the play-off match and one player in particular enhances their chances greatly, Krisztina Toth, once again on duty for Hungary.