by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Organised by the Italian Table Tennis Federation in liaison with the City of Lignano Sabbiadoro and the Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, the competition has considerable support.
Major supporters include the Banca Popolare di Cividale, Acqua Pradis and Superabile Inail, in addition to Fiat who will assist with transport.
“The Lignano Masters Open has become one of the most anticipated international tournaments; we are proud of that fact. Athletes arrive from all over the world; in Lignano, they know they find the best organizational and logistic conditions to be able to play at their highest level. Our guys have the opportunity to compete, in front of their fans, with players of different nations; playing on home soil gives them a special enthusiasm”, Renato Di Napoli, President of the Italian Table Tennis Federation.
Notably five gold medallists in the individual events from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will compete. Serbia’s Borislava Peric-Rankovic, Croatia’s Sandra Paovic, Kelly Van Zon of the Netherlands and Belgium’s Florian Van Acker will be in action, as will Ukraine’s Natalya Kosmina.
Also three gold medallists from the team events will be on duty. Ukraine’s Maksym Nikolenko and Viktor Didukh in addition to Poland’s Karolina Pek will compete.
Furthermore the names of Serbia’s Nada Matic and Mitar Palikuca appear on the entry list as do those of Hungary’s Andras Csonka and Peter Palos. All were Rio 2016 Paralympic Games medallists. Likewise, Croatia’s Helena Dretar and Andela Muzinic are Lignano bound. Also competing will be Germany’s Thomas Brüchle, Sweden’s Linus Karlsson and Ukraine’s Maryna Lytovchenko.
A total of 226 players, representing 34 countries will be present. The countries in question are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine and United States.
Meanwhile for the junior event 67 players from 17 nations will participate, the nations in question being Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Sweden.
Italy will be represented by: Raimondo Alecci, Andrea Borgato, Michela Brunelli, Lorenzo Cordua, Federico Crosara, Samuel De Chiara, Federico Falco, Amine Kalem, Francesco Lorenzini, Matteo Orsi, Matteo Parenzan, Daniel Paone, Clara Podda, Giada Rossi, Marco Santinelli, Emanuele Vasta and Giuseppe Vella
In the junior event Italy will be represented by: Leonardo Coletta, Lorenzo Cordua, Elena Elli, Lorenzo Magarelli, Matteo Orsi, Matteo Parenzan, Carlotta Ragazzini and Emanuele Vasta.
2017 Lignano Masters Open: Full Results