18 Sep 2019

Owners of all three major titles the sport has to offer, those of being Paralympic Games gold medallist, World and European champion; following success on Thursday 19th September in Helsingborg, Belgium’s Laurens Devos, Serbia’s Borislava Peric-Rankovic and Poland’s Natalia Partyka continued to maintain that status.

All emerged successful at the 2019 ITTF Para European Championships; moreover, all reserved places in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games; the extra prize for all who struck gold in the west coast Swedish city.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Competing in men’s singles class 9, Laurens Devos accounted for Ukraine’s Lev Kats to seal the title (11-9, 11-8, 11-7); in the women’s singles events, at the final hurdle in class 4-5 Borislava Peric-Rankovic beat colleague Nada Matic by the very narrowest of margins (11-8, 6-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9), rather more comfortably, Natalia Partyka secured the class 10 top prize at the expense of Turkey’s Merve Demir (11-8, 11-2, 11-4).

Joining the list

Three players with all three prestigious titles, in Helsingborg four more were added to the list. Rio 2016 Paralympic Games gold medallists and last year in Lasko crowned World champions; in the men’s singles events in Helsingborg Frenchman Fabien Lamirault, Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier and Belgium’s Florian Van Acker completed the full house, as in the women’s singles competitions did Kelly van Zon of the Netherlands.

At the final hurdle in class 2, Fabien Lamirault beat Poland’s Rafal Czuper (11-6, 11-8, 11-5), in class 6, Peter Rosenmeier accounted for Romania’s Bobi Simion (11-5, 11-7, 11-8). Not to be upstaged in class 11 Florian Van Acker overcame Hungary’s Peter Palos (10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 14-12).

Impressive performances, it was the same from Kelly van Zon in class 7; she secured gold at the final expense of Turkey’s Kubra Korkut (11-3, 11-7, 1-11, 11-9).

Successful defence

The European title added the collection; there were those who like Laurens Devos, Borislava Peric-Rankovic and Natalia Partyka successfully defended the titles won two years earlier in Lasko.

In the men’s singles events, Great Britain’s Rob Davies beat Hungary’s Endre Major (11-3, 11-5, 8-11, 15-13) to win the class 1 title for a fourth consecutive time.

Likewise, Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger accounted for Frenchman Florian Merrien to emerge the class 3 winner (11-7, 14-12, 11-6), Ukraine’s Viktor Didukh once again prevailed in class 8 as did Poland’s Patryk Chojnowski in class 10. At the final hurdle Viktor Didukh recovered from a two games to nil deficit, to overcome colleague Maksym Nikolenko by the very minimal two point margin in the decider (9-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9); rather less dramatically, Patryk Chojnowski secured the top prize at the expense of Montenegro’s Filip Radovic (11-3, 13-15, 11-6, 11-4).

Repeat success, in the women’s singles event, it was the same for the host nation’s Anna-Carin Ahlquist; she overcame Italy’s Michela Brunelli (11-8, 11-9, 10-12, 11-5) to reserve the top prize.

Adding to title collection

Meanwhile, like Rob Davies, Turkey’s Abdullah Ozturk, Rio 2016 Paralympic Games gold medallist, secured the men’s singles class 4 title. He recovered from losing the opening two games against colleague Nesim Turan (5-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-2, 12-10) to emerge victorious.

Similarly, in women’s singles class 11, Russia’s Elena Prokofeva added to her World title won one year ago in Lasko; she beat Turkey’s Ebru Acer (11-6, 11-7, 11-4) to emerge a most worthy champion.

Adding to their title collections, there were those who revived former glories. Germany’s Valentin Baus, crowned World champion in 2014 in Beijing, beat Serbia’s Mitar Palikuca (11-4, 11-9, 11-7) to emerge the men’s singles class 5 winner. Thu Kamkasomphu of France, having won gold at the European Para Championships on seven consecutive occasions commencing in 2001, as well as being the Paralympic Games gold medallist in 2000 in Sydney and 2008 in Beijing claimed the women’s singles class 7 top prize. At the final hurdle, she accounted for Poland’s Dajana Jastrzebska (11-9, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6).

First major title

More gold at major tournaments; that was the scenario in the men’s singles events; however, in the women’s singles, there were those who succeeded on the big stage for the very first time.

In group organised events, silver medallist two years ago in Lasko, Poland’s Dorota Buclaw won class 1, finishing ahead of Finland’s Ain Tapola; in a similar manner, bronze medallist in Lasko, Italy’s Giadi Rossi claimed the class 2 title, Serbia’s Ana Prvulovic emerged the runner up.

Progress, for Russia’s Maliak Alieva and Hungary’s Alexa Szvitacs it was a first medal at a major international tournament. Maliak Alieva secured the class 6 title overcoming Germany’s Stephanie Grebe in the final (7-11, 9-11, 11-1, 11-6, 11-4); Alexa Szvitacs claimed class 9 gold, in the final she beat Poland’s Karolina Pek (11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7).

The individual events concluded, attention now turns to the team competitions, the curtain closes in Helsingborg on Saturday 21st September.

2019 ITTF European Para Championships: Latest Draws and Results

Paralympics Para Table Tennis Natalia Partyka Laurens Devos Borislava Peric-Rankovic

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Photo Gallery

Day 1 - 2019 ITTF European Para Table Tennis Championships