ZAGREB, July 15, 2018 – Croatia’s greatest table-tennis player, Dragutin Šurbek, died during the night between Saturday and Sunday. He was 72.
He twice won the World Champion title and earned 36 medals at world and European championships.
Born in 1946 in Zagreb, Šurbek became a member of Yugoslavia’s national table-tennis team in 1964. He captured his first great trophy in 1968 in Lyon, from where he returned with a cup and the title of European singles champion.
Šurbek triumphed 112 times at tournaments across the world, taking home 42 singles titles, 32 men’s doubles titles, four mixed doubles titles and 34 team titles.
After Croatia gained independence, he played for the Croatian national team alongside Zoran Primorac and at 46 he was the oldest athlete at the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. A year afterwards, he and Primorac won a silver medal in the men’s doubles event at the Mediterranean Games in France.