Standing left to right: Errol Resek – Sol Schiff – Dr. Andreas Gal – Gyula Apatini – Mel Eisner | Front Row Zoltan Gode – Jules Apatini These were the original members of the NY HUNGARIA TABLE TENNIS TEAM which as organized by Gyula Apatini and friend Dr. Andreas Gal.
Gyula Apatini’s Ping Pong – Table Tennis Legacy
Before the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, Gyula Apatini excelled as a professional Ping Pong/Table Tennis player in Hungary. During that time, Hungary was a dominant force in the sport, boasting talented players such as Barna, Sido, Bellak, and more recently, Jonyer, Klampar, and Gergely. Apatini himself ranked No. 11 in Hungary. In 1959, Apatini and his immediate family emigrated to the United States, where he continued to showcase his skills against formidable opponents like Sol Schiff, Marty Reisman, Dick Miles, and others.
Apatini’s lifelong dream was to popularize the sport in the United States to the same level of enthusiasm and popularity he had witnessed in Hungary and other countries. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Apatini, along with his friend Dr. Andreas Gal, established the NY Hungaria Table Tennis Team. This team achieved considerable success, winning the renowned NY Area Table Tennis League, created by Mel Eisner, on numerous occasions. Notable players like Sol Schiff, Errol Resek, Eric Boggan, Scot Boggan, Alireza Oveissi, and other top players in the US were proud members of the NY Hungaria Team. The history of the NY Hungaria Table Tennis Team is documented through various articles, pictures, and videos stored in the archives.
In 2011, Jules Apatini, Gyula’s son, wrote a Ping Pong Fitness Article – Blog, which later inspired the concept and birth of Aerobic Ping Pong.
One of Gyula Apatini’s remarkable achievements was the organization of an incredible event at the World Trade Center, which attracted a crowd of over 1,500 standing spectators. He named the event “Battle of the Sexes,” drawing inspiration from the famous TENNIS Battle of the Sexes Extravaganza.
Displayed below are two photos capturing this historic Ping Pong – Table Tennis event.