by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Group organised events, Giada Rossi finished ahead of colleague Carlotta Ragazzini, Croatia’s Marija Martinovic and Israel’s Michaela, Yosupov; similarly, it was first place for Elli Elena with Norway’s Nora Korneliussen the next in line. Third and fourth positions finished in the respective hands of Sweden’s Caisa Stadler and Romania’s Emilia Constantin.
Impressive from Giada Rossi and Elena Elli, it was the same from Matteo Orsi. First place in the group ahead of Austria’s Patrick Caha and Sweden’s Philip Brooks, he maintained the good form in the second stage of proceedings. He recorded a semi-final success in opposition to Sweden’s David Olsson (3-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5), prior to securing the title at the expense of Slovakia’s Boris Travnicek (11-, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9). In the counterpart semi-final, Boris Travincek had beaten Philip Brooks in three straight games (11-5, 11-6, 11-7).
Common to all Para events, players finishing in first and second places in each group advanced to the main draw.
Success for Italy, there was also success for Montenegro, Norway, Slovenia and Turkey.
Merve Demir, no stranger to the international scene, secured gold for Turkey. She won Women’s Singles Class 10. First place in the group ahead of Denmark’s Mie Schou Salhauge and Romania’s Tabita Vulturar; she accounted for Sweden’s Anja Handen (10-12, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4) in the penultimate round prior to reserving the top step of the medal podium by overcoming Romania’s Iona-Monica Tepelea (11-8, 16-14, 6-11, 11-7). At the semi-final stage, Ioana-Monica Tepelea had beaten Mie Schou Salhauge (11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8).
Gold for Romania, in Men’s Singles Class 6-7 it was gold for Slovenia. Luka Trtnik claimed the top prize. At the final hurdle he accounted for Slovakia’s Tomas Valach (12-10, 11-3, 11-9), having one round earlier beaten Denmark’s Rasmus Hansen (5-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9) and in the group stage finished in first place ahead of the host nation’s Matteo Parenzan and Portugal’s Paulo Barbosa.
Defeat for Matteo Parenzan but there was more than consolation, he added to the Italian list of successes by securing bronze. At the quarter-final stage he beat Sweden’s David Olsson (11-4, 12-14, 13-11, 11-8) prior to experiencing a semi-final reverse at the hands of Tomas Valach (4-11, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10, 11-4).
Make no mistake; the bronze medal gained by Matteo Parenzan was a quite incredible feat; he is only 10 years old! He is the youngest competitor not just in the table tennis events but in the whole Games!
Worthy performances, it was the same in Men’s Singles Class 8 from Norway’s Pablo Jacobsen as it was in Men’s Singles Class 9-10 from Monenegro’s Filip Radovic.
Notably, Pablo Jacobsen finished in second place in his first phase group; he was beaten by Sweden’s Jonas Hansson (9-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7). However, in the main draw there were no such problems. In the quarter-final round he beat Denmark’s Rasmus Jensen (11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 15-17, 11-6), before accounting for Norway’s Steffen Solomonsen to claim the title (11-9, 11-6, 11-5).
Earlier, Steffen Solomonsen had beaten Norway’s Fredrik Johansson at the semi-final stage (11-5, 11-13, 13-11, 14-12), the quarter-final winner in opposition to Janos Hansson (11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 12-14, 11-7).
Hard fought success for Pablo Jacobsen; it was very much the same for Filip Radovic. He was required to recover from a two games to nil deficit against the host nation’s Lorenzo Cordua in the Men’s Singles Class 9-10 final, before gaining success (11-13, 9-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-3). After having finished in first place in his initial phase group ahead of Italy’s Lorenzo Magarelli and Sweden’s Albin Hedlund; Filip Radovic reserved his place in the final courtesy of success in opposition to Austria’s Noah Rainer (11-4, 11-6, 11-2).
Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles, Men’s Team and Women’s Team events now follow.
European Para Youth Games: Full Results and Forthcoming Matches