08 Sep 2017

A first appearance at a World Championships in 1991 when on duty in Chiba, for the next 20 years a member of the Polish national team, a career which included four consecutive Olympic Games commencing in Atlanta in 1996; Lucjan Błaszczyk is a most welcome face at the current 2017 Czech Para Open in Ostrava.

The 42 year old is present in the role of coach at the three day tournament which commenced on Thursday 7th September.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor (Interview by Frantisek Zalewský)

In Ostrava he is the advisor of Piotr Grudzien, Igor Misztal and Marcin Skrzynecki, all players with realistic medal hopes in the Men’s Singles events.

Marcin Skrzynecki and Piotr Grudzien both appear in Class 8; Piotr Grudzien is the no.2 seed behind Hungary’s Andras Csonka, Martin Skrzynecki is the no.4 seed. The no.3 seed is Belgium’s Marc Ledoux. Igor Misztal is the no.2 seed in Class 10 behind the host nation’s Ivan Karabec.

“Our Super League starts on 26th September, so I have time to accompany my teammates from the Palmiarnia Zielona Gora club here at the Ostrava tournament. They are Marcin Skrzynecki, Piotr Grudzien and Igor Misztal. They train in my group and play with us in Zielona Góra in the second and third teams. I’m trying to help them as much as I can. Here in Ostrava I am attending a Para tournament for the first time but I have played in the Czech Republic many times.” Lucjan Błaszczyk.

Lucjan Blaszczyk is a colleague of Petr Korbel, a player from the same generation who during the past two decades spearheaded the hopes of the Czech Republic. Notably both were members of TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau in the powerful German Bundesliga.

“They were wonderful years. We had an excellent team, probably the strongest in the history of the club. We achieved a great deal of success. We won the Bundesliga, the German Cup, the ETTU Cup and we were twice in the Champions Cup final. I have wonderful memories of this period. I am always in contact with Petr, we always have a lot to talk about.” Lucjan Blasczyk.

Piotr Grudzien, Igor Misztal and Marcin Skrzynecki are members of what is a very strong Polish squad in Ostrava.

Most notably in Class 2, Rafal Czuper is the top seed with Tomas Jakimczuk being the no.3 seed. Similarly Mariusz Czerwinski is the no.3 seed in Class 3, Krszysztol Zylka, the no.2 seed in Class 4. Additionally, Marek Chybinski is the top seed in Class 11.

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Photos: Frantisek Zalewsky


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