Werner Burkhardt, player and organiser in Bayreuth
Photo By: Bettina Bauer
A total of some 300 entries from 42 nations has been received for the Bayreuth Para Table Tennis Open, which commenced on Wednesday 29th May and concludes on Saturday 1st June 2013.
Staged in the Oberfrankenhalle, it is the second time the tournament has been organised, the first being most successfully two years ago in 2011.
Furthermore, the entry exceeds 2011 and the tournament has a new found status; two years ago the entry numbers reached a very impressive 232 and it was a Factor 20 event for World Ranking purposes.
In 2012 not only have numbers risen by the tournament has a Factor 40 status.
Therefore, it is one of the most prestigious tournaments on the ITTF Para Table Tennis calendar with only the Paralympic Games, the World Para Championships and the Regional Para Continental Championships possessing a higher weighting.
The Paralympic Games is Factor 100, the World Para Championships is Factor 80 and for example the European Para Championships is Factor 50.
Five Continents in Action
“There are athletes from all five continents but quality has no comparison with the big tournaments in the world”, said Werner Burkhardt, a Class 4 player and a major figure in the organisation of the tournament.
“The field is peppered with one or two European champions, World champions and Paralympic champions," he continued. "All the experience that I have gained with my team at the first event will be used to make this tournament a memorable occasion for all participants, a mega event.”
Army of Volunteers
A mega event and a host of volunteers are present; some 120 coaches and staff alongside 40 umpires are in attendance.
An enthralling tournament unfolds
Proceedings were officially opened at 12.00 noon on Wednesday 29th May 2013 by Brigitte Merk-Erbe, the Mayor of Bayreuth.