14 May 2018

The combination of Romania’s Bobi Simon and Georgios Mouchtis of Greece emerged as the pairing to cause the biggest surprise, as play progressed in the team events at the 2018 Slovenia Para Open in Lasko on Friday 11th May.

Competing in Men’s Team Class 6, impressively they remained unbeaten, notably accounting for the Great Britain partnership of Paul Karabardak and Martin Perry, the top seeds. They won by two matches to nil.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Defeat for the British pair but it was their only defeat; thus second place in the group was secured and a semi-final place reserved. In all Para events where there are two stages, teams finishing in first and second places advance to the main draw.

Similarly, in the corresponding group it was a similar fate for Germany’s Thomas Raue and Tim Laue, the second seeds. They experienced a two-matches to one defeat at the hands of Chile’s Cristian Dettoni and Matias Pino Lorca; the South Americans remained unbeaten, the Europeans advanced in second place to the main draw.

Otherwise in the Men’s Team events, the leading outfits prevailed; the most notable upsets being in Class 2 and in Class 5 with the second seeds experiencing troubled times.

In Class 2 the French outfit comprising Fabien Lamirault, Julien Michaud and Vincent Boury experienced a two-one defeat at the hands of the combination formed by Japan’s Nobuhiro Minami and Chile’s Luis Bustamente. Likewise in Class 5 for the combination of Egypt’s Mohamed Eid Saleh and Great Britain’s Jack Hunter-Spivey, there was a two-nil defeat at the hands of Serbia’s Mitar Palikuca and Darko Babic.

Both defeated outfits duly secured second places in their respective groups and advanced to the main draw where different fortunes were experienced. Julien Michaud rested, Fabien Lamirault and Vincent Boury beat the Czech partnership of Jiri Suchanek and Martin Zvolanek two-nil; by the same margin Mohamed Eid Saleh and Jack Hunter-Spivey experienced defeat in their quarter-final encounter at the hands of Frenchmen Nicolas Savant-Aira and Alexandre Delarque.

Surprises but in the Men’s Team events all the top seeded outfits are on course for gold.

Italy’s Federico Falco and Andrea Borgato ended the day unbeaten in Class 1, as in Class 2 did Slovakia’s Jan Riapos and Martin Ludrovsky. Similarly, in Class 3 the German partnership of Thomas Schmidberger and Thomas Bruchle enjoyed a successful day as in the two remaining wheelchair classes did Turkey. In Class 4 Nesim Turan and Suleyman Vural remained unscathed, a situation that applied also to colleagues Abdullah Ozturk, Ali Ozturk and Hamza Caliskan.

Meanwhile, in the standing categories Ukraine was very much to the fore; Mykaylo Popov, Viktor Karp and Bogdan Omelchuk remained unbeaten in Class 7 as in Class 8 did the trio of Viktor Didukh, Ivan Mai and Maksym Nikolenko.

Similarly, in Class 9 there was success for the formation of Finland’s Esa Miettinen, Hungary’s Dezso Bereczki and Malaysia’s Chee Chao Ming, as in Class 10 for the pairing of Bulgaria’s Denislav Kodjabashev and Montenegro’s Filip Radovic.

Not to be outdone; in Class 11 the partnership formed by Belgium’s Florian Van Acker and Hungary’s Peter Palos proved irresistible.

Play in Lasko concludes on Saturday 12th May.

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