by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Emil Boc, the Mayor of Cluj-Napoca and former Romanian Prime Minister, alongside His Royal Highness Prince Radu, Patron of the Romanian National Paralympic Committee and Istvan Vakar, Vice President County Council, were all present.
“How proud and impressed I am with the achievement of the organisation of this unique Paralympic event which celebrates its 10th anniversary in Cluj Napoca”, Prince Radu.
Additionally, Karsten Vagn Nielsen, the Danish Ambassador; Daniel Kearvall, DHL Managing Director and Alex Bologa, Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Blind Judo bronze medallist attended. Likewise, Shazzad Rizvi, President of the Little People Volunteers and Dave Cochrane, the Technical Director were present.
“I am very proud that his city is hosting this successful event alongside the major events that will place this year in the Sala Polivalenta in other sports such as gymnastics, basketball and karate”, Emil Boc
Once play started gold medallists at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Frenchman Fabien Lamirault and Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier, alongside bronze medal winner, Serbia’s Mitar Palikuca, underlined the reasons why some six months ago they gained honours in the Brazilian city.
“I had a good first day in the tournament. I won all three matches today. It is my first international tournament of the season so it’s all about getting a good start. I hope I can proceed tomorrow and play even better so I can win. We like this tournament, we like it here, it’s nice to be here”, Peter Rosenmeier
All three remained unbeaten to top their respective groups on a day when the top seeds justified their status.
Two phases in each of the Men’s Singles event, a group stage followed by knock-out; Fabien Lamirault duly finished unscathed in Class 1-2, as did Mitar Palikuca in Class 5 and Peter Rosemeier in Class 6.
It was only in Class 4 and in Class 7 where eyebrows were raised and even in those categories the top seeds completed their initial stage itinerary of matches unbeaten; in the former Poland’s Rafal Lis duly topped his group, in the latter it was the same outcome for the Slovak Republic’s Miroslav Jambor.
The players to cause the surprises were Andrej Meszarosaz, like Miroslav Jambor from the Slovak Republic, alongside Denmark’s Henrik Brammer and Poland’s Maksym Chudzicki.
All three remained unbeaten en route to securing first places in their respective groups. In Class 4 Andrej Meszarosaz beat Romania’s Petru Ifrosa, the no.2 seed (13-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4); whilst in Class 7 Denmark’s Henrik Brammer overcame Switzerland’s Thomas Rosenast, the no.3 seed (11-6, 11-8, 11-6) and Maksym Chudzicki accounted for Japan’s Kosuke Hemmi, the no.4 seed (11-6, 16-14, 10-12, 15-13).
Problems for three seeded players but not for the top seeds all reserved first places.
Additional to Fabien Lamirault, Peter Rosenmeier, Mitar Palikuca, Rafal Lis and Miroslav Jambor; in Class 8 it was top spot for Johanes Urban, as it was for Italy’s Mohamed Amine Kalem in Class 9 and Bulgaria’s Denislav Kodjabashev in Class 10.
The Men’s Singles events conclude on Friday 24th February.
Romania International Para Open: Draws and Latest Results