21 Sep 2018

An opening ceremony for the record number of 253 players from 32 countries signalled the start of the 2018 Czech Para Open, the 13th edition of the well-established tournament.

Notably ever since the event was first staged in 1995, present for the ceremony was tournament President, Jiri Danek. Also in attendance was Tomas Stanicek, the Director of Sports Complex where the Ostrava Physical Education Club, the traditional home for the tournament is based. He thanked the Moravian-Silesian Region and the statutory city of Ostrava for their support.

by Ian Marshall, Editor (Interviews by Clara Riddellova)

The ceremony completed, very much local eyes focused on Ivan Karabec, the no.2 seed in Men’s Singles Class 10, who potentially could face Great Britain’s Kim Daybell in the final.

It is a contest for which he is prepared.

“I definitely do have a strategy in mind that could bring me success. I really appreciate his style. However, I certainly cannot say that I’m counting on victory. It will mostly depend on me presenting a peak performance. There is a saying: don´t count your chickens before they are hatched. Therefore, I should concentrate on getting into the final.” Ivan Karabec.

Also attracting attention was Hungary’s Andras Csonka in Men’s Singles Class 8; he made a fine start by beating Norway’s Steffen Salomonsen (11-8, 11-8, 11-9) and Sweden’s Axelem Jensenem Wallinem (11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 11-2), a left hander.

“The truth is that I am used to playing right handed practice partners, so I had to concentrate more than usual and focus more on the technique of my strokes.” Andras Csonka

Clearly experience counted; confident Andras Csonka made few errors.

“I have been playing table tennis for 20 years now. I practise regularly and also participate in the second best league in Hungary, so I compete against healthy opponents on a regular basis. I am trying to keep in good shape. I always come with the mind set to win. Who doesn’t believe in himself, can hardly succeed.” Andras Csonka

A positive approach, the top seed, Andras Csonka starts as favourite for gold.

2018 Czech Para Open: Draws and Results

Paralympics Para Table Tennis Andras Csonkal Ivan Karabec Jiri Danek Tomas Stanicek