This year we celebrate the MARK V anniversary. The Yasaka rubber is probably the most well-known product in table tennis and one of the best selling rubbers in the world. Since 1969 the rubber has helped players to win tournaments all over the World.
So what can be better than celebrating the launch of the Yasaka Mark V rubber. Here you will find the story of one of the table tennis worlds most famous rubbers. Please enjoy!
1969 – a memorable year
In 1969, the first man landed on the moon. Mr. Neil Armstrong took the first historical steps.
That same year, Yasaka was able to complete the development of a new technology. Yasaka MARK V was the result of many years of experimentation and testing. With the new formula for both the outer rubber sheet and the sponge from MARK V, the offensive style of play got a new tool.
Swedish player Hans Alsér had won the European Championships in men’s singles in 1962 and was followed by Kjell Johansson who won in 1964 and 1966. During the same period, Swedish players also dominated in teams and doubles.
In Europe, towards the end of the 1960s, all-round player Hans Alsér could sense the end of his career. He started using the new rubber MARK V and utilized its high offensive power. At the 1970 European Championships in Moscow, Alsér again won the men’s gold medal (as well as teams and doubles).
Alsér’s teammates Kjell Johansson and Stellan Bengtsson won the two bronze medals. During that time, they still used the popular rubber Yasaka Original. In 1967 and 1969, Alsér / Johansson also won the WTTC men’s doubles titles.
The 1970s – the explosion of sales and titles
In early 1971, Stellan Bengtsson, 18 years old, went to Japan to train and develop for a longer period. A few weeks after Stellan left for Sweden, he returned to Japan for the WTTC 1971 in Nagoya. The young Swede won the first Swedish singles title in table tennis ever and came home as a hero.
In the fall of 1971, sales of MARK V rackets exploded in Sweden and Europe as well as in Japan.
In 1972, Stellan showed his capacity again by winning the European Championship singles title, and in 1973 Stellan and Kjell Johansson won the WTTC men’s doubles as well as the WTTC men’s team.
During the seventies Stellan and many other top players won many international titles with the MARK V.
The ”swedish champion rubber”
In the late 1970s, the majority of Swedish tournament players used the Mark V rubbers. Several of the best young Swedish players like Erik Lindh, Ulf ”Tickan” Carlsson, Ulf Bengtsson, Anders Thunström, Håkan Jeppsson, Jonas Berner and many more won international junior medals with MARK V. Many of them continued as Swedish national team players during the 1980s.
Yasaka also introduced MARK V in green and blue colors. Ulf Bengtsson used blue MARK V (and red) when he won the European Championship in men’s singles in Moscow in 1984.
In 1985, the ITTF decided to allow only red and black rubbers in international games.
During the 1990s, the next generation of European top players such as Jean-Philippe Gatien, Jean-Michel Saive, Peter Karlsson, Marie Svensson continued to win titles with MARK V.
Now Chinese top players also started using MARK V on the backhand side. For example, Ma Lin was a MARK V player.
Throughout the years MARK V has been one of the best selling rubbers in the world and still is. A large number of players from all continents have, with the use of MARK V, developed their playing technique and appreciate the consistent playing characteristics during the rubber’s long playing life.