BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Angelica Rozeanu, the Romanian-born table tennis great who won the title of world champion six times in a row, has died, the Romanian table tennis federation said Wednesday. She was 84.
Rozeanu died at her daughter's home in Haifa, Israel, on Tuesday after being diagnosed with cirrhosis less than a month ago, said Beatrice Romanescu, director of marketing at the Romanian Table Tennis Federation.
"She was a living legend. I don't know whether Romania will ever have a table tennis player like her,'' Romanescu told the Associated Press.
Born in Bucharest in 1921, Rozeanu was the world female singles champion six times from 1950 to 1955, a feat that has not been equaled in the sport.
She won a total of 17 world titles, taking the world's women's doubles title three times from 1953 to 1955, and the world mixed doubles titles three times from 1951 to 1953.
Rozeanu was Romanian national champion 1936 to 1957, excluding four years during World War II when the championship was not staged.
Cristinel Romanescu, president of the Romanian Table Tennis Federation, described Rozeanu as "one of Romania's greatest female athletes ever.''
"We were very proud of her results and happy that she continued to advise us over the years,'' she said.
Rozeanu continued to play professionally after moving to Israel in 1960. She kept in close touch with her native country and last visited Romania in late 2005.
"She played an offensive game that was elegant at the same time ... and she was a great fighter. She was also a sweet and charming person,'' Cristinel Romanescu said.
Rozeanu will be buried in Haifa later Wednesday. She is survived by her daughter, Miki.-AP