by Frantisek Zalewsky
University table tennis is becoming more popular around the world with notable names collecting medals.
Russian international, Kirill Skachkov from Novokuzneck, representing Orenburg State University, has six career European Universities medals to his credit, including four gold.
Meanwhile, in the most recent edition of the tournament, staged in Geneva in 2015, there was success for the Czech Republic. Michal Benes from the Technical University of Ostrava won the Men’s Singles title, Russia‘s Anna Blazhko, studying at the Institute of Economics Management and Law in Kazan, was crowned Women’s Singles champion.
Now in 2017 the European Universities Championships returns to the Czech Republic, the home for the first when organised in 2007 in Ostrava; Vit Ratajsky, Chair of the Czech University Sports Association Table Tennis Committee, expects a record breaking entry with the host nation prominent.
“In the Czech Republic the interest in university table tennis is increasing; at the first Championships in Ostrava, Dana Cechoiva excelled and gained a European Universities Women’s Singles silver medal. The last European Universities Championships in Geneva in 2015 was even better for us. Michal Benes gained Men’s Singles gold and together with Ondrej Bajger won the Men’s Doubles.“ Vit Ratajsky
The European Universities Championships is fast gaining a reputation not only for high standards but because it possesses a friendly atmosphere; it is a fact of which Dana Cechova is well aware.
“Students events are are different from the top ones. People talk more, communicate, it is more relaxed and there is not such rivalry and competition but it doesn´t mean the competition has less quality. In Ostrava in 2007, I beat Russia’s Anna Tikomirova who later became a main player of Russian national team and participated even at the London Olympic Games.“ Dana Cechova
Venue for the tournament will be the Palacky University; the same venue that will be used for the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Czech Open.
“I trust the academic European championship will help to increase the interest in table tennis in universities our country; it will be one of the most significant events of this year. Preparations are in place. I trust the tournament will be managed on top level.“ Vit Ratajsky
Six events will be staged: Men´s Team, Women´s Teams, Men´s Singles, Women´s Singles, Men´s Doubles and Women´s Doubles.
For further information visit: 8th European Universities Championships