“Secrétin, a name that will not be forgotten and that French table tennis will not forget“: from his 70th birthday in 2019, the French Table Tennis Federation (FFTT) was committed to paying tribute to the left-hander.
On Wednesday, it was she who formalized the death of “the ball child“- the title of his autobiography – sharing his”immense sadness“, in a post on Facebook.
A “sadness“shared by the Levallois Sporting Club.”Jacques had honored us with his presence at @LSC_Levallois from 1985 to 2001. Our thoughts are with his loved ones“tweeted the Hauts-de-Seine club.
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The French National and Olympic Sports Committee (CNOSF) for its part welcomed “a legend of table tennis and French sport” on Twitter.
In homage to this table tennis player at “incredible achievements“, the FFTT recalled its sporting achievements: in singles, European champion in 1976 and 17 times French champion, and in mixed doubles, world champion in 1977.
Born March 18, 1949 in Carvin in the Pas-de-Calais, Secrétin also won two other European championship titles, in men’s doubles in 1980 and in teams four years later.
Thanks to his record, he paved the way for Jean-Philippe Gatien, the best Frenchman of the next generation, who will be vice-Olympic champion in Barcelona in 1992.
But Secrétin, it was also or even above all “his artistic talents and his famous show“with Vincent Purkart, another champion of France.
– “Promotion Tool” –
The “Secrétin-Purkart show“, concentrated in jokes around a ping-pong table, was so successful that it will accumulate more than 4,000 performances around the world. The show was also a means, for the mustachioed man and his accomplice, to interest a public not used to competitions in table tennis.
“It is a slice of life that has been exceptional. I played in front of 15,000 spectators. It was a real promotion for table tennis“, Secrétin nodded.
The Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Jean-Michel Blanquer also paid tribute on Twitter on Wednesday to “a huge champion“, who has “so much for the prestige and popularity of table tennis in France“.
Racket virtuoso in hand, talented on the boards, the champion remained accessible and committed even after the end of his sports career.
“Man with a big heart“, he exercised in particular”a social inclusion mission at the Federation“, underlined the FFTT.
Until the end of his life, he continued to visit French clubs, initiate young people or hit balls in prisons with inmates.
Without losing the thirst for victories that characterized him.
“His goal was a medal at the 2020 Veterans World Championships in Bordeaux“, initially planned for June 2020 but postponed to spring 2021, according to the FFTT.
“He absolutely wanted to win in the 70-75 age category. He still had his place among the six players of the first team“, assured AFP Jean-Claude Baert, the president of the Lyssois pongist club, where Secrétin was licensed.
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