05 Sep 2017

On Saturday 17th September, the gold medal in Women’s Team Class 6-10 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in the balance; in the vital deciding contest to determine which outfit would stand on the top step of the podium, Karolina Pek emerged the heroine.

She beat Lei Lina in four games (11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6) to secure gold for Poland and destined China to silver; at the forthcoming Czech Para Open, she is one of the leading female players on duty. Play starts in Ostrava on Thursday 7th September and concludes on Saturday 9th September.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Success in Rio de Janeiro just under one year ago; in Ostrava, she is amongst a group of female players who have also secured individual titles this year at Para Open International tournaments.

A Class 9 player, competing in Class 8-9, she won gold in the northern Italian Adriatic resort of Lignano.

Notable success; likewise her colleague, Dorota Buclaw won Women’s Singles Class 1-2 in Slovenia, whilst Katarzyna Marszal, who had to endure the agonising task of sitting on the bench in the Rio de Janeiro final watching Natalia Partyka and Karolina Pek seize gold, has also enjoyed a podium finish this year. She emerged a bronze medallist in Women’s Singles Class 6 in Bayreuth.

A strong challenge for honours from Poland; there are also formidable names on duty from Croatia, Israel, Italy and Romania.

Very much, Croatia’s Andela Muzinic is the player in form; she won Women’s Singles Class 3 titles earlier this year in both Italy and Slovenia. Likewise, on home soil, Giadi Rossi, a Class 2 athlete won Class 1-2 in Italy. Undoubtedly, in the wheelchair categories, Class 1 to Class 5, the names of Dorota Buclaw, Giada Rossi and Andela Muzinic are very much those to note.

Meanwhile, in addition to Karolina Pek; in the standing categories, Class 6 to Class 10 with Class 11 being for players with learning difficulties, there are also notable female names on duty who have struck gold this year.

Both Class 10 athletes, in mid-March, Israel’s Karmit Dor won Women’s Singles Class 9-10 in Hungary; one week later on home soil Ioana-Monica Tepelea secured the Women’s Singles Class 8-10 title in Romania.

Overall, a total of 35 female players will be on duty in Ostrava. They represent the national associations of Argentina, Austria, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Serbia.

2017 Czech Para Open: Forthcoming matches and latest results

Paralympics Para Table Tennis Karolina Pek