by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Both gold medallists in Rio de Janeiro, Fabien Lamirault won Class 1-2, Peter Rosemeier prevailed in Class 6. Bronze medal winners, Mitar Palikuca secured the Class 5 title; Mohamed Amime Kalem was crowned the Class 9 champion.
Wins as expected, all occupied the top seeded position in their respective events; it was the same for Poland’s Rafal Lis, the Slovak Republic’s Miroslav Jambor and Bulgaria Denislav Kodjabashev.
All justified their top billing; Rafal Lis won Class 4, Miroslav Jambor emerged successful in Class 7, Denislav Kodjabashev proved unstoppable in Class 10.
“I am really happy to win the tournament in class 10. I hope I can also win the next tournament in Germany. I was little nervous during the match, but it went well. I train five hours everyday day with one hour physical preparation.; the tournament in Cluj is very nice and very well organized”, Denislav Kodjabashev
However, in Class 3 and in Class 8 there were surprise winners. Serbia’s Darko Babic won the former; Russia’s Artem Iakovlev, gold medallist two days earlier in Class 7-8 at the junior tournament, emerged victorious in the latter.
Notably at the semi-final stage, each beat the top seed; Darko Babic accounted for Poland’s Maciej Nalepka (11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-2), before overcoming the host nation’s Ioan Dirlea (11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8). Similarly, Artem Iakovlev ended the hopes of Germany’s Francesco Urban (11-9, 11-5, 11-8), prior to claiming the top prize at the expense of Italy’s Francesco Lorenzini (9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11).
It was the first such title for either player, notably the first final in a singles event at a Para Open tournament for Darko Babic. Meanwhile, for Artem Iakovlev it was one step higher; last year at the 2016 Copa Tango in Buenos Aires he had been the Class 8 runner up.
Individual events concluded; attention now turns to the team competitions; play concludes on Saturday 25th March.
2017 Romania Para International Open: Junior Tournament – Full Results (Tuesday 21st March)
2017 Romania Para International Open: Individual Events – Full Results (Friday 24th March)
2017 Romania Para International Open: Team Events – Latest Results (Friday 24th March)