Romanian men's table tennis as of late has seen significant progress. It does not measure up women's table tennis, though, yet recent results are encouraging. In September 2018, Ovidiu Ionescu succeeded the greatest performance in the history of Romanian men's table tennis in a European competition, in the last five decades. Ionescu won silver in the men's event of the European Individual Championships hosted by the city of Alicante in Spain. Ionescu thus equaled the performance of Radu Negulescu, a Romanian table tennis player who in Zagreb in 1960 stepped onto the second step of the European podium.
It was also Ovidiu Ionescu who, jointly with Spain's Alvaro Robles, won silver in the men's doubles event at the World Championships hosted by Budapest in April this year. Ovidiu Ionescu's medal was the only medal Romania won at the world championships in Hungary.
This past weekend, Romania's men's national table tennis team qualified for the European Championships, to be held in Nantes, France, over September 3 and 8. In Bucharest, the Romanians won Group 1 of the preliminaries' second stage. On Saturday, Romania defeated Lithuania, 3-nil, while on Sunday, Romania outclassed Serbia, 3-1. This time as well, Ovidiu Ionescu won all the matches he played, one in the confrontation against Lithuania and two other matches in the confrontation against Serbia. Reason enough for Radio Romania International to designate Ovidiu Ionescu the Athlete of the week.
Ovidiu Ionescu was born in Buzau, southern Romania, on June 28, 1989. He is currently signed up by the German club SV Mühlhausen. Until the two previously mentioned silver medals, Ovidiu Ionescu's top performance was the mixed doubles silver medal he won at the European championship in Budapest in 2016, jointly with Bernadette Szőcs.