A Factor 20 event for ranking purposes, the inaugural ITTF Fa20 Greek Para Open 2022, a three day tournament commences on Friday 30th September.
Venue for proceedings is “Antonis Tritsis”, an indoor sports hall located in Argostoli, the capital of Kefalonia, an island located in the Ionian Sea, west of mainland Greece.
Rugged landscapes, white sandy beaches only accessible by narrow roads or even by foot, it is the dream destination.
However, there will be minimal time for relaxation, intense competition awaits, notable names who have enjoyed success earlier this year appear on the entry list.
Alexandre Saint Pierre from France is most certainly a player to note; a comparative newcomer to the international para scene, a debut in 2021, her results in the past seven months compare most favourably with the most seasoned player.
In women’s singles events, in March she won class 4-5 on the Costa Brava, then in May and June she secured the class 5 titles respectively in Slovenia and the Czech Republic.
Similarly, in the women’s singles events, Hungary’s Alexa Szvitacs and Romania’s Ioana-Monica Tepelea will be in action alongside Great Britain’s Fliss Pickard and Sue Bailey.
Alexa Szvitacs won class 9-10 in April in Egypt; Ioana-Monica Tepelea emerged the class 6-10 winner in July at the European Para Youth Games in Finland. Meanwhile, Fliss Pickard was the class 6 winner on the Costa Brava, Sue Bailey secured class 4 gold in the Czech Republic.
A strong entry from Great Britain, it is the same in the men’s singles events, gold medallists at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August are both on duty. Jack Hunter-Spivey won the class 3-5 title, Josh Stacey prevailed in class 6-10.
Likewise, France fields in form players; both competing in class 8, Clément Berthier won in Egypt, soon after Thomas Bouvais succeeded on home soil in Saint Quentin en Yvelines.
Quite possibly men’s singles class 8 could prove the most unpredictable event of all; in the same category appear the name of Belgium’s Mark Ledoux, he won in Montenegro.
Undoubtedly, an impressive entry from Europe, it is the same from further afield, Chile’s Manuel Echaveguren competes; in April at the Copa Tango in Buenos Aires, he was the men’s singles class 10 champion.
Imposing visitors, for the host nation, eyes focus on Georgios Mouchthis, in Egypt, he was the men’s singles class 6 silver medallist.
A total of 103 men and 36 women compete in Argostoli.