Anyone who plays table tennis in the Southwest Palatinate, Germany, will certainly have heard the name Sylke Bayer. The 49-year-old lives in Herschberg and trains regularly at TTC Gersbach or SV Mörsbach, and has been playing for TSG Zellertal for almost 25 years. Now she has won the German Championships in the women’s age group over 50 in superior style. This not only pleases her club mates, friends and family, but also her employer: Sylke Bayer works for REMONDIS as a commercial clerk at the gypsum recycling plant in Zweibrücken.
3:0, 3:0, 3:1, 3:0 – her road to success
After a two-year break – due to Corona – 483 women and men met in Völklingen to find their national table tennis champions in single, doubles and mixed. The seniors competed in ten age groups between 39 and over 85 years.
Sylke Bayer competed in the women’s over 50 age group and showed her class in the semi-finals at the latest, winning 3:1 against Sabine Barz-Todt from Kiel TTK Grün-Weiß, who was seeded first. In the final against Viola Burkert from SC Eintracht Berlin, a clear 3:0 victory then paved the way to her championship title.
3:0, 3:0, 3:1, 3:0 – you could hardly have played more successfully. According to Sylke Bayer, she had not even increased the intensity of her training. “I actually went into the tournament without any great expectations and initially just wanted to get through the group matches,” she says. But on this day everything was supposed to work out: The Southwest Palatinate now has a new German champion and Sylke Bayer has crowned her successful sporting career.
Sylke Bayer has now become the German champion in the women’s over 50 age group
Sylke Bayer works at the gypsum recycling plant in Zweibrücken
Table tennis has always been a family affair
Sylke Leist, her maiden name, started playing table tennis at the age of nine at the local TTV Enkenbach. Her two brothers and her cousin also played here, so the sport has always been a family affair. Games at the home table in the basement were part of daily practice and quenched her irrepressible desire to train.
Success was not long in coming: in the mid-1980s, she became a three-time Southwest German champion in single, doubles and mixed. At the age of 12, she was allowed to play for the first time for the ladies of TTV Enkenbach in the district league, followed by appearances in the upper and even in the regional league. At the age of 16, she received an offer from the then second division team Rot-Weiß Mainz-Finthen. It was a special honour, but for family reasons she decided against the move and to stay at home. Only the later transfer to the upper league team of TSG Zellertal was to follow. Sylke Bayer’s commitment and family ties in the club are at the top of her list.
„We are very happy for our German champion Sylke Bayer and congratulate her on this great success!“
Dirk Zoller, Plant Manager gypsum recycling plant
Image credits: image 1: © REMONDIS; image 2: © Stepan