by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Six groups in the opening stage of Men’s Singles Class 7, Jean-Paul Montanus is the no.6 seed; he faces Romania’s Victor Doana in his opening contest followed by Frenchman Kevin Dourbecker and Ukraine’s Bogdan Omelchuk.
Ukraine’s Maksym Nikolenko is the top seed followed by Great Britain’s Will Bayley; in Vejle, Jean-Paul Montanus beat Maksym Nikolenko in round two, prior to overcoming Will Bayley in the final.
A tough test for Jean-Paul Montanus, arguably it is even tougher for Aida Dahlen; two groups in the initial phase, the leading names are Thu Kamkasomphou from France and Germany’s Juliane Wolf. Notably Aida Dahlen is drawn in the same groups Juliane Wolf, the player she beat in the final two years ago.
Meanwhile, in the Men’s Singles events, in order to retain their titles Germany’s Tomas Brühle, Maxime Thomas of France and Norway’s Tommy Urhaug will also have to upset the seeding if they are to emulate the Vejle success.
Maxime Thomas is the no.2 seed in Class 4, one place behind Turkey’s Abdullah Ozturk. Somewhat similarly in Class 3, Thomas Brüchle is the no.3 seed; colleague Thomas Schmidberger and Florian Merrien of France occupy the respective top two position,
Challenging tasks, for Norway’s Tommy Urhaug in Class 5, it is no different; he is the no.4 seed; Germany’s Valentin Baus, the player Tommy Urhaug beat in the Vejle final is the no.2 seed, with Turkey’s Ali Ozturk topping the list.
Similarly, in the Women’s Singles event, Italy’s Giada Rossi and Turkey’s Neslihan Kavas, both gold medallists in Vejle must upset the seeding to retain their titles. In Class 1-2, Giada Rossi is the no.3 seed, Russia’s Nadejda Pushpasheva, the player she beat in the final two years ago is the top seed. Likewise, Neslihan Kavas is the no.2 seed in Class 9, in Vejle she accounted for Poland’s Karoline Pek in the final. In Lasko Karolina Pek is the top seed.
Otherwise, with the exception of Women’s Singles Class 6, where Croatia’s Sandra Paovic does not defend her title, the reigning champions occupy the top seeded positions.
In the Men’s Singles events, Great Britain’s Rob Davies (Class 1), Frenchman Fabien Lamirault (Class 2) and Spain’s Alvaro Valera (Class 6) head the seeding as do Ukraine’s Viktor Didukh (Class 8), Belgium’s Robin Devos (Class 9), Poland’s Patryk Chojnowski (Class 10) and Florian Van Acker (Class 10), also from Belgium.
Notably, in the Women’s Singles events, Sweden’s Anna-Carin Ahlquist (Class 3), Serbia’s Borislava Peric-Rankovic (Class 4-5) and Kelly Van Zon of the Netherlands (Class 7) occupy the top seeded positions; likewise the names of Poland’s Natalia Partyka (Class 10) and Russia’s Elena Prokfeva (Class 11) occupy the top spots.
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