by Simon Daish
There were many standout moments on the world table tennis scene in May, so here is just a quick rundown of last month’s news.
Zagreb hosted the first of the two ITTF Challenge events taking place in May, with the 2017 ITTF Challenge Croatia Open.
Both the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles competitions produced first-time champions as Japan’s Koyo Kanamitsu and Romania’s Adina Diaconu lifted the trophies in Zagreb. This was the first time that either player had achieved the feat at either an ITTF World Tour or ITTF Challenge Series tournament.
Honoka Hashimoto put her disappointments of missing out on title victories at both the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belarus Open and 2017 ITTF Challenge Thailand Open behind her as the Japanese competitor claimed the Women’s Singles gold medal in Zagreb, while 37-year-old Greek star Panagiotis Gionis clinched the Men’s Singles prize.
The Seamaster 2017 ITTF Challenge Brazil Open took place on the same weekend as the Croatia Open as the ITTF Challenge Series visited São Paulo.
Romania’s Bernadette Szocs defeated Audrey Zarif in the Women’s Singles final to win the trophy for the first time at an ITTF Challenge Series event before partnering up with the French representative to claim the Women’s Doubles title.
Hugo Calderano gave the home fans plenty to cheer about as the Brazilian combined well with fellow compatriot Gustavo Tsuboi in the Men’s Doubles competition, and delivered another successful campaign in the Men’s Singles draw.
The first ever Para World Team Championships also featured in May, and three nations in particular enjoyed positive campaigns as Russia, Italy and Sweden won two titles each at the event.
This leads us into the Pongcast question of the month:
Which city hosted the first ever Para Table Tennis World Team Championships event?
Comment your answer on the Pongcast post via the ITTF Facebook page and share the video for a chance to win a piece of gear from Nittaku.
Watch the Nittaku ITTF Monthly Pongcast video for May 2017 below: