Matti Launonen

Matti Launonen (31 May 1944[2] – 23 March 2019) was a Finnish para table tennis player who competed until his sudden death in 2019. He was one of the first table tennis players to win a world title in the para table tennis championships in Assen, Netherlands and a European title in Salou, Spain.[3]

Matti Launonen
Personal information
Born31 May 1944
Kuopio, Finland[1]
Died23 March 2019(2019-03-23) (aged 74)
Atlantis, Florida, United States
Sport
Country Finland
SportPara table tennis
DisabilitySpinal cord injury
Disability classC1
Medal record
Para table tennis
Representing  Finland
Paralympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona Men's singles C1
Gold medal – first place 1996 Atlanta Men's teams C1-2
Silver medal – second place 1996 Atlanta Men's singles C1
Silver medal – second place 2000 Sydney Men's singles C1
Bronze medal – third place 1992 Barcelona Men's teams C2
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1990 Assen Men's singles C1
Silver medal – second place 1998 Paris Men's teams C1-2
Bronze medal – third place 1990 Assen Men's teams C3
Bronze medal – third place 1998 Paris Men's singles C1
Bronze medal – third place 2002 Taipei Men's singles C1
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1995 Hillerod Men's singles C1
Gold medal – first place 1995 Hillerod Men's teams C2
Gold medal – first place 1997 Stockholm Men's singles C1
Gold medal – first place 1997 Stockholm Men's teams C1-2
Gold medal – first place 1999 Piestany Men's singles C1
Silver medal – second place 2003 Zagreb Men's singles C1
Silver medal – second place 2007 Kranjska Gora Men's singles C1
Bronze medal – third place 1991 Salou Men's singles C1
Bronze medal – third place 1991 Salou Men's teams C2
Bronze medal – third place 2001 Frankfurt Men's singles C1
Bronze medal – third place 2001 Frankfurt Men's teams C1-2

Launonen was seriously injured aged 18 in a car accident while travelling at more than 80 km/h, the car he was driving had handbrake fault and he couldn't stop the car: the car suddenly turned and rolled around.

He had a fall at his home and suffered a leg injury but died at hospital aged 74 in Florida.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Merkittäviä pelaajia" (in Finnish). Kuopio Table Tennis Club. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b Heikkinen, Esko (24 March 2019). "Matti Launonen on kuollut" (in Finnish). Finnish Table Tennis Association. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  3. ^ "IPTTC Profile - Matti Launonen". International Para Table Tennis Federation. 28 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Matti Launonen, a true great of para sport, passes away". ittf.com. 27 March 2019.