by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor (Interview by Frantisek Zalewský)
Damian Fira finished in first place in Class 11 ahead of top seeded colleague, Marel Chybinski in a group organised event but it was in Class 9 that the biggest upset was witnessed and in Class 10 where the host nation suffered the greatest disappointment.
Not seeded, on the opening day of play, Pawel Jablonski had experienced a straight games defeat in his initial stage group at the hands of the Czech Republic’s David Pulpan (11-8, 11-9, 14-12). The effect was second place in the group with David Pulpan remaining unbeaten to reserve top spot.
Runners up spot meant a semi-final place; it also meant a change in fortunes for Pawel Jablonski. He beat colleague Pawel Konstantyn, the top seed (11-6, 12-10, 11-9), prior to securing the title at the hands of Hungary’s Barnabas Retter (11-6, 11-8, 11-6). Likewise not seeded and the previous day beaten by Pawel Konstantyn in straight games (11-3, 11-6, 11-1), in the penultimate round Barnabas Retter had caused a major upset by overcoming David Pulpan (11-8, 11-9, 11-4).
Disappointment for the Czech Republic; in Class 10 the level of disappointment was arguably even higher. After accounting for Argentina’s Dario Neira (11-0, 11-9, 11-6); Ivan Karabec, the top seed, was beaten by Igor Misztal (12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8).
Three somewhat unexpected winners; in the remaining Men’s Singles standing categories, in the final it was success for the top seeds.
In Class 6, after accounting for Croatia’s Vjekoslav Gregorovic, the no.2 seed (9-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-4, 11-7), who the previous day had finished in second place in his group behind Cristian Dettoni; Pavao Jozic, also from Croatia, accounted for Matias Pino, like Cristian Dettoni from Chile, to secure the top prize (11-7, 11-7, 11-4).
Meanwhile, in Class 7 Ukraine’s Mykaylo Popov caused the Czech Republic more pain by beating Daniel Horut, the no.2 seed in the final (11-3, 11-6, 11-7); whilst in Class 8, likewise in a meeting between the top seeds, Hungary’s Andras Csonka accounted for Poland’s Piotr Grudzien by the very narrowest of decisions (9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10) to reserve the top step of the podium.
“It was a very difficult final, I had to make a big effort to win this match, Daniel is a very good player. I’m a full time player and member of the Ukraine national team; my goal is not necessarily the European Championships this year but the World Championships next year.” Mykaylo Popov
The individual events over, attention now turns to the team competitions; play concludes in Ostrava on Saturday 9th September.
2017 Czech Para Open: Forthcoming matches and latest results