A three year gap owing to the effects of the pandemic, last held in 2019, the four day Slovenia Para Open, the 17th edition, commences on Wednesday 11th May.
First staged in 2004, except for 2007 when Kranjska Gora bid welcome, the host city is once again Lasko.
Over the years the tournament has gained a reputation for administration and hospitality par excellence; that fact is underlined in the quality of this year’s entry.
Notably 10 players who struck gold three years ago return.
In the men’s singles, the names of Turkey’s Abdullah Ozturk (class 4), Norway’s Tommy Urhaug (class 5) and Spain’s Alvaro Valera (class 6) all appear on the entry list, as do those of Great Britain’s Will Bayley (class 7), Viktor Didukh (class 8) and Frenchman Lucas Creange (class 11).
Likewise in the women’s singles, Poland’s Dorota Buclaw (class 1), Croatia’s Andela Muzinic (class 3) and Ukraine’s Maryna Lytovchenko (class 7) will be aiming for repeat success; a goal that will also be the aim of Turkey’s Kubra Korkut (class 11).
Notable names, especially those of Abdullah Ozturk and Maryna Lytovchenko; both were respective men’s singles and women’s singles gold medallist at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Moreover, they are not alone.
Likewise, successful in Japan’s capital city, in the Lasko men’s singles appear the names of Frenchman Fabien Lamirault (class 2), Germany’s Valentin Baus (class 5) and Ian Seidenfeld from the United States (class 6), in addition to Belgium’s Laurens Devos (class 9), Poland’s Patryk Chojnowski (class 10) and Hungary’s Peter Palos (class 11).
Meanwhile, for the women, Kelly van Zon of the Netherlands (class 7) is set to compete.
Significantly, Abdullah Ozturk and Valentin Baus are in a rich vein of form, as of the reigning champions are Lucas Creange and Kubra Korkut. Both emerged victorious at the recently completed SQY French Para Open.
They are just four names aiming for back-to-back wins; there are 11 more!
The names of Korea Republic’s Kim Hyeonuk (class 1), Thailand’s Thirayu Chueawong (class 2) and Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger (class 3) all appear as does that of Spain’s Ander Cepas (class 9).
Imposing, in the women’s singles the prevalence of players in form is even more impressive.
Aiming to add to Korea Republic success, Yoon Jiyu (class 3) and Moon Sungkeum (class 6) compete as for France does Alexandra Saint-Pierre (class 5) alongside Lea Ferney (class 11).
Meanwhile, Brazil’s Catia Oliveira (class 2) once again plies her skills, a situation that applies to Thailand’s Wassana Sringam (class 4) alongside Turkey’s Neslihan Kavas (class 9).
Overall, 226 players are scheduled to compete in the men’s singles, 100 in the women’s sngles; no less than 39 countries are represented.