by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Born in Ceske Budejovice but now resident in Havirov, the most decorated player on duty, the 36 year old is a member of that precious group of players who own the full set of major titles, Paralympic Games, World Championships and Continental Championships.
At the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games he won the Men’s Singles Class 10 title; impressively, at the European Championships in 2003 in Zagreb he repeated the feat, before in the Slovenian city of Kranjska Gora in 2007, winning Men’s Singles Class 9-10. Meanwhile, sandwiched in between in 2006 in Montreux, again competing in Men’s Singles Class 10, he was crowned World champion.
Furthermore, this year he has been in form; at the 14th Slovenian Para Open staged in Lasko, he concluded proceedings as the silver medallist; he was beaten in the final by Poland’s Patryk Chojnowski, currently listed in the no.1 spot in Men’s Class 10 World Rankings (7-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-7).
However, the result to note is Lasko is the contest in the group stage of proceedings when he accounted for Claudio Massad. He needed the full five games (14-12, 13-11, 8-11,12-14, 7-11) to overcome the 32 year old Brazilian who, last year at the 2016 Copa Costa Rica, won Men’s Singles Class 10 gold.
Standing at no.24 on the current Men’s Class 10 World Rankings, the name of Claudio Massad appears on the Ostrava entry list.
Claudio Massad is a notable challenger to Paul Karabec in his quest for honours but the major challenge could well come from another source. A name to note is that of Poland’s 20 year old Igor Misztal. Listed at no.19 on the Men’s Class 10 World Rankings; earlier this year at the Lignano Masters in Italy, like Claudio Massad, he was a bronze medallist.
In Ostrava, both have eyes on two steps higher; Paul Karabec may have other ideas.
Overall, a total of nine Men’s Class 10 players appear on the Ostrava entry list.
2017 Czech Para Open: Forthcoming matches and latest results