Gold is the supreme accolade at the Egypt Para Open; the three-day tournament, commencing in Giza on Saturday 25th February, ignites a year when continental champions will be crowned and eyes focus on qualification for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, now just 18 months distant.
Gaining credit points by meeting the necessary number of attendances and securing vital world ranking points are utmost in the player’s mind in a groundbreaking year. A total of 31 Para tournaments are listed on the ITTF calendar, while Africa, Europe and Oceania will host regional championships, and the Asian Para Games and Para Pan American Games are also taking place.
Check out 2023 event schedule here!
“The calendar for 2023 reflects the incredible progress made in recent years with regards to Para table tennis; it is a 40 per cent increase in events when compared with 2019 before the pandemic hit. Standards are constantly rising, both in the level of play, as more athletes are supported to play full-time, and in the levels of organisation and presentation.” Alaor Azevedo, ITTF Executive Vice President in charge of Para table tennis.
Notably Saudi Arabia appears for the first time as an international Para tournament organiser; Argostoli and Podgorica, new to the schedule in 2022, once again play host. Moreover, established events continue; the United States hosts an international Para event for the 14th time and Czechia on the 16th occasion. Similarly, Slovenia welcomes players for the 18th year and Argentina for the 20th year.
Familiar events and in Egypt there are familiar faces on duty.
For the host nation, Mohamed Sameh Eid Saleh (class 4) yet again plies his skills after taking silver last year. Stéphane Messi (class 7), gold medallist at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, now 50 years old is the most experienced member of an imposing French contingent. Impressive at the Andalucia 2022 World Para Championships, Thomas Bouvais (class 8), silver medallist and Lucas Didier (class 9) bronze medallist both compete, as does Spain’s Jordi Morales (class 7), crowned world champion in 2018 in Lasko.
In the women’s singles, Romania’s Iona-Monica Tepelea (class 10), Gabriela Constantin (class 6) will try to claim gold after taking silver and bronze in 2022. India’s Bhavina Patel (class 4), silver medallist at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, returns as does Lucie Hautière from France (class 8).
Overall, 91 men and 41 women compete in Giza. Additional to Egypt, entries have been received from Chile, Cameroon, France, Great Britain, Greece, India, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mauritius, Pakistan, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan.
- Men’s & Women’s Singles: Class 1-5 Wheelchair
- Men’s & Women’s Singles: Class 6-10 Standing
- Men’s & Women’s Singles: Class 11 Intellectual Impairment
- Men’s Doubles, Women Doubles, Mixed Doubles: The number is the maximum sum of the two players singles classes
2023 Egypt Para Open: Entries, Schedule, Results