by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
He beat Austria’s Simon Pfeffer in six games (10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 4-11, 12-10); the win may not at first sight appear that remarkable. However, in the exact corresponding contest one year ago, he was beaten by Simon Pfeffer in four straight games (11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9).
Now 38 year old, Uros Slatinsek, who first became a member of the Slovenian national team some 15 years ago, still enjoys playing locally but his priority is on coaching young players at the local KRKA Novo Mesto Club.
“I am coaching around 50 to 60 kids competing at different age groups, mostly junior and cadet, obtaining very good results and national titles.” Uros Slatinsek
Good results and it would seem that as a teacher he excels. It was one of the young pupils who sat courtside as advisor! Is that the ultimate in coach education?
“Normally I was not selected by the national team but I got the opportunity to play here as I am a local player. It´s always a pleasure to perform on home soil. I especially selected one of my players to sit on the coach´s seat as I wanted him to watch the game and focus on the service and receive, as well as the changing of tactic during the match.”
Success in for Uros Slatinsek in his opening contest in the qualification stage of the Men’s Singles event, for colleague, Tom Sfiligoj it was the same. He accounted for Bulgaria’s Denislav Kodjabashev in a full distance seven games encounter (6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-13, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8).
Two notable wins but for the other host nation players on Men’s Singles initial phase duty it was an opening match defeat.
Peter Hribar was beaten by Korea’s Kim Dyob (6-11, 11-2, 11-5, 12-10, 11-6), Tilen Cvetko suffered at the hands of Russia’s Denis Ivonin (11-4, 13-11, 11-8, 11-13, 13-11). Similarly, Tilen Novak experienced defeat when facing Frenchman Romain Ruiz (11-5, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5), Mitja Horvat lost to Ewout Oostwouder of the Netherlands (7-11, 11-9, 5-11, 5-11, 14-12, 15-13, 11-7).
Likewise, Crt Grm Urbancic suffered against Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus (11-6, 11-7, 11-2, 11-9); Jan Zibrat found England’s David McBeath a man in form, he was beaten in six games (11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 12-14, 11-5, 11-9).