19 May 2017

Name two players who have caught the eye at the 2017 World Para Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia; Germany’s Sandra Mikolaschek and Great Britain’s Paul Karabardak would be very high on the list.

Both have excelled expectations Sandra Mikolaschek is on the brink of a medal; Paul Karabardak is guaranteed.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Competing in Women’s Class 4-5, Sandra Mikolaschek proved pivotal to a somewhat unexpected two-nil win against the hitherto unbeaten Great Britain outfit comprising Sue Gilroy and Megan Shackleton.

She partnered Lisa Hentig to doubles success (9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 10-12, 11-8), before sealing the Germany victory by overcoming Sue Gilroy (7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6).

“It was a tough match against Susan, she has more experience than me. She is a smart player but I was able to follow my tactics given by my coach and play to Susan’s weaknesses during the game. I had some lucky balls but I’m glad to able to win the match overall.” Sandra Mikolaschek

An inspired performance by Sandra Mikolaschek, it had been the same one day earlier against the top seeded Serbian duo of Borislava Peric Rankovic and Nada Matic, the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games silver medallists. Germany experienced a two-one defeat; the one win being that recorded by Sandra Mikolaschek against Nada Matic (16-14, 6-11, 13-11, 11-6).

The overall situation is that Germany and Great Britain, with one fixture remaining, each has one defeat against their name. Serbia is unbeaten. In the concluding engagements, Germany meets the Slovak duo of Alena Kanova and Katarina Dobrodska, hitherto without a win to their credit; Great Britain opposes Serbia.

Likewise, in singles matches, Paul Karabardak in Men’s Team Class 8 has been the backbone of Great Britain reserving a semi-final place. Sandra Mikolaschek, he is unbeaten.

On the morning of the third day of play, he partnered David Wetherill to success against Cristian Dettoni and Matias Pino Lorca (11-6, 11-3, 11-3) before overcoming Matias Pino Lorca to cement the victory (6-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-6).

However, the win to attract the attention, the one which set Great Britain en route to top spot in the group was that recorded the previous evening against Denmark, when recovering from a two games to nil deficit against Michael Jensen (7-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5) to secure a thrilling two-one win.

“It was a tough match against Michael, I was very nervous and struggled to play at the level I wanted; when I was two-nil down, I told myself to fight hard. I am very happy to win the match and secure the victory for Team GB.” Paul Karabardak

Great Britain now meets the Croatian combination of Pavao Jozic and Vjeksslav Gregorovic in the semi-finals; in the opposite half of the draw Denmark’s Peter Rosemeier and Michael Jensen oppose Spain’s Alberto Seoane and Alvaro Valera.

The semi-final is scheduled for later in the day.

Day Three: World Para Team Championships

Photos: Richard Kalocsai

2017 World Para Team Championships: Draw and Latest Results

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