25 Mar 2017

Medallists at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games struck gold; but there were surprise winners as play concluded in the Men’s Singles events at the 2017 Romania Para International Championships in Cluj-Napoca on Friday 24th March.

Frenchman Fabien Lamirault added to his success of some six months ago in the Brazilian city, as did Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier, Serbia’s Mitar Palikuca and Italy’s Mohamed Amime Kalem.

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)



Paralympics Para Table Tennis 2017 Romania Para Open Peter Rosenmeier Mitar Palikuca Mohamed Amime Kalem Darko Babic Artem Iakovlev