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Kalinikos Kreanga (born March 8, 1972) is a Greek (formerly Romanian) table tennis player.[1][2] Born as Călin Creangă, he chose to defect from Communist-ruled Romania at the age of 17 (with his father) while he was participating in the European Table Tennis Youth Championships in Luxembourg in 1989.[3]

Kalinikos Kreanga
GF8C6871Kalinikos Kréanga 13.04.2010.jpg
Kreanga in 2010.
Full nameKalinikos Kreanga
Nationality Romania  Greece
Born (1972-03-08) March 8, 1972 (age 46)
Bistriţa, Romania
Height1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)[1]
Weight62 kg (137 lb; 9.8 st)

Born in Bistriţa, Romania, Kreanga started to play table tennis at the age of 7. His first coach was Gheorghe Bozga, who would later discover Mihaela Steff.

While in Luxembourg, he received an offer to play in Greece, so he decided to move there. Being a minor, he quickly acquired Greek citizenship, and changed his name to Kalinikos Kreanga.[3]

He has been one of the dominant European table tennis players since the beginning of the 1990s, and uses the shakehand grip to hold the racket. His favorite offensive weapons seem to be the forehand topspin and an incredibly strong backhand topspin. His backhand topspin is regarded as one of the most devastating in the world, not limited by its unorthodox technique.


Team historyEdit

  • A.C. Zografou (Greece) (until 1995)
  • Finower TTC (1995/96; 2. Bundesliga, Germany)
  • Royal Villette Charleroi, (Belgium), since 1996)
  • TTC Weinheim (2.BL, Germany)
  • TTF Ochsenhausen (Germany)
  • Montpellier TT (France)
  • Hennebont (France)


Bronze medal in the mixed doubles competition at the World Championships, Chiba City, 1991.[4]

Winner of the European Championships in mixed doubles (1992) and men's doubles (1994). Runner-up in men's singles (2002).

Bronze medal in the singles competition at the World Championships, Paris, 2003.[5]

Runner-up at the Men's World Cup in 2003 and 2004.

Winner of the Europe Top-12, 2011.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Biography". ITTF. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2011.
  2. ^ "Biography of KREANGA Kalinikos". ITTF. Archived from the original on 18 January 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2011.
  3. ^ a b Roxana Maha (8 July 2005). "Creanga a ajuns celebru si bogat din ping-pong". (in Romanian).[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "ITTF Statistics". ITTF. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2011.
  5. ^ "Kalinikos Kreanga, the Irrepressible Greek". Retrieved 25 February 2011.