The final day of play at the Muscat 2023 World Veteran Championships was filled with tension and togetherness, as a total of 40 events were decided.
Two players stood out, Finland’s Maria Donner and India’s Mantu Murma, as they both secured the full house by winning gold in each of the three competitions they were eligible for.
Maria Donner added to European gold claimed six months earlier in Rimini, when she emerged as the women’s singles 40-45 years winner. She secured gold in the mixed doubles event with Sweden’s Igor Krokhim and with Sofia Westhom in women’s doubles.
Similarly, Mantu Murma won mixed doubles gold in the 60 years age group, before securing women’s doubles success and the 60-64 years top prize, partnering with Vinay Chopra and Jette Vieg respectively.
One less, Germany’s Gregor Foerster and Zsolt-Georg Böhm alongside Norway’s Paal Guttormsen and Japan’s Kazuo Masuda, all finished with two gold medals to their names.
Zsolt-Georg Böhm partnered colleague Boris Rosenburg to men’s doubles 60 years success, before securing the men’s singles 60-64 years crown by beating former Norwegian international Wang Yansheng in the final.
Paal Guttormsen, who was a runner-up in the cadet boys’ singles event at the 1970 European Youth Championships, won the men’s singles 65-69 years title. The day before, he and Estonia’s Kai Thornbech won the mixed doubles 65 years gold.
Foerster and Masuda had similarly impressive performances, each winning two gold and one bronze. Foerster won the men’s singles 40 years gold, and earlier secured the men’s doubles 40 years title with Welshman Michael Marsden. He also won a bronze in mixed doubles 40 years with Germany’s Tatiana Pokrovskaya.
Masuda won the men’s singles 85 years event, and partnered with Reiko Miura to win the mixed doubles top prize. He also secured a bronze in men’s doubles 85 years with Sweden’s Urban Living.
Similarly, Latvia’s Ina Jozepsone, Switzerland’s Margit Geiger, Germany’s Heidi Wunner and Donna Sakai all secured two titles each.
In the 50 years age group, Ina Jozepsone won the mixed doubles with her compatriot Sandis Vasiljevs, and the women’s doubles with Germany’s Sylvia Messer. Similarly, in the 55 years competition, Margit Geiger claimed mixed doubles gold with Romania’s Andreas Fejer-Konnerth, and the women’s doubles top prize with Ukraine’s Liliia Andrieieva. Additionally, Geiger added a bronze in the women’s singles 55-59 years.
In the 75 years category, Donna Sakai won mixed doubles gold with her husband David and the women’s doubles top prize with her compatriot Connie Sweeris. In the 80 years events, in partnership with German colleagues, Heidi Wunner secured mixed doubles gold with Dimitrije Bilic and joined forces with Ruth Schneider to claim women’s doubles gold. She also gained silver in the women’s singles 80-84 years.
Las Vegas Repeat Elusive
The only winner from the previous World Veterans Championships in Las Vegas to repeat success was Hungary’s Gizella Zacher. The women’s singles 70-74 years winner in the American city, she secured the 75-79 years title.
The combination of Denmark’s Pia Toelhøj and Sweden’s Petra Sörling, who is also President for the ITTF, had to settle for silver in the 50 years category. However, for Pia Toelhøj, there was more than compensation; she emerged the women’s singles 55-59 years winner.
In the women’s singles, Trine Grauholm won the 45-49 years title. In the men’s singles, Henrik Vendelbo emerged as the 50-54 years winner, and Niels Ramberg succeeded in the 75-79 years category.
Also, in the women’s singles, Estonia’s Kai Thornbech emerged victorious in the 65-69 years class, Singapore’s Liang Mui Heng secured 50-54 years gold. However, the predominant nation was Japan; the 70-74 years title went to Kazuko Horino, Noriko Watanabe won the 80-84 years event, Reiko Miura struck gold in the 85 years competition.
In the men’s singles, Iran’s Mehran Ahadi won the 45-49 years event, Mohammad Jafari prevailed in the 80-84 years category, China’s Pan Yan emerged to 55-59 years winner, and India’s Yogesh Desai in the 70-74 years event.
- Muscat 2023 World Veteran Championships – Medallists
- Muscat 2023 World Veteran Championships – Full Results