by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Among the foreign participants, Great Britain’s Will Bayley, Men’s Singles Class 7 gold medallist at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games is named on the entry list; as is Ukraine’s Viktor Didukh, who with Maksym Nikolenko, secured gold in Men’s Team Class 6-8 in Rio de Janeiro. In addition, last year he won Men’s Singles Class 8 at the European Para Championships.
Also on duty in Lignano are Korea’s Nam Kiwon and Serbia’s Mitar Palikuca, Men’s Singles bronze medallist in Rio de Janeiro, the former in Class 1, the latter in Class 5; for both there is stern opposition in Lignano. Great Britain’s Tom Matthews, silver medallist at last year’s European Para Championships appears in Class 1 as does Valentin Baus in Class 5, the German being crowned World champion in 2014 in Beijing.
Likewise for the women, Serbia’s Borislava Peric-Rankovic, a player with a host of titles including Class 4 gold in Rio de Janeiro, will compete as will Korea’ s Seo Suyeon, and Serbia’s Nada Matic, both medallists at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. In addition, Russia’s Nadezhda Pushpasheva, gold medallist in Women’s Singles Class 1-2 at the 2017 European Para Championships will also be on duty.
Meanwhile from the host nation there is a contingent of 26 players, the most notable being Mohamed Amine Kalem and Giada Rossi; both were bronze medallists in Rio de Janeiro; Mohamed Amine Kalem in Men’s Singles Class 9, Giada Rossi in Women’s Singles Class 1-2.
Sanctioned by the International Table Tennis Federation, the tournament is organised by the Italian Table Tennis Federation in collaboration with the City of Lignano Sabbiadoro and the Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Partners include Aeronautica Militare, Polizia Penitenziaria and Fondazione Città della Speranza in addition to Stag, Iset Marketing and SuperAbile Inail.
The countries represented are: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and United States.
Lignano Para Masters: Draws for main events and latest results