by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
A four games win (13-15, 11-9, 11-9, 11-4) added to the Slovakian’s outstanding title collection.
Competing in Men’s Singles Class 2; in addition, he won gold at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. Meanwhile, at the European Championships he has clinched the top prize on no less than six occasions, the first such success being in 1999 on home soil in Piestany when likewise he beat a Frenchman in the final; he accounted for Vincent Boury.
Success but it was success somewhat against expectations, Jan Riapos had departed Rio de Janeiro without a medal to his name and was the no.2 seed as opposed to Fabien Lamirault who was the top seed.
Perhaps an unexpected winner but in the Men’s Singles events there were far greater upsets with the Slovak Republic enjoying more success.
Not appearing amongst the leading names Alexander Nagy won Class 6, Austria’s Christian Scheiber concluded the day as the Class 7 champion with colleague Gustav Wiesenhofer emerging as the Class 10 winner. Likewise, against expectations, Kazakhstan’s Nurzhan Korpetanyev clinched the Class 9 title.
It was for all four players their first ever such success. Christian Scheiber and Gustav Wiesenhofer have never previously secured a podium finish; for Alexander Nagy he was the silver medallist in Class 6 in 2014 in Romania, Nurzhan Korpetanyev won bronze in Class 9 at the 2013 Al-Watani Para Open in Amman.
Surprise winners, in the remaining Men’s Singles events, it was success as predicted with the top seeds prevailing and the host nation enjoying success.
Endre Major prevailed in Class 1 title and in so doing enjoyed his second such success of the year; some two weeks earlier he had won in Lignano.
Impressive from Endre Major, it was the same from colleague, Andras Csonka; silver medallist last year in Rio de Janeiro and in Spain, he won the Class 8 event.
A first Para Open Men’s Singles title for Andras Csonka; it was the same in Class 3 for Austria’s Egon Kramminger and in Class 4-5 for Frenchman Nicolas Savant-Aira.
The previous best for Egon Kramminger was silver in Class 3 at the 2007 European Para Championships and bronze at the 2016 Romania Para Open; for Nicolas Savant-Aira, the 2011 Class 5 European champion, his prior open tournament greatest success was in Class 5 when in 2015 he clinched bronze in the Slovak Republic and Bayreuth before achieving the same finish last year in Slovenia.
Play continues in Eger with the Men’s Team events; play concludes on Sunday 19th March.
2017 Hungarian Para Open: Draws and Latest Results