Titles at the Paralympic Games, World Championships and European Championships, both class 10 athletes, Patryk Chojnowski and Natalia Partyka head the host nation’s aspirations at the forthcoming ITTF Polish Para Open 2023, the three-day tournament commences on Friday 26th May.
Staged in Wladyslawowo, a factor 20 tournament for World ranking purposes, the duo commence matters odds on to add to their already imposing collection of silverware.
However, they are not the only Polish players who start play with the favourites tag.
Alongside Natalia Partyka in the women’s singles appears the name Dorota Bucklaw (class 1), winner at the Andalucia 2022 World Para Championships and earlier this month successful in Slovenia.
Gold in southern Spain for Dorota Bucklaw but if there is one Polish female player in form, it is Karolina Pek (class 9), earlier this year she won in Italy, Greece and Slovenia.
Also, add the name, Ewa Cychowska (class 11), she prevailed in Greece.
Impressive, it is the same for their male Polish counterparts. Maksym Chudzicki (class 7) and Piotr Grudzien (class 8) both won in Italy, Rafal Czuper (class 2) succeeded in Greece and Slovenia.
However, if there is one Polish male player who has stunned in recent weeks, it is Maciej Makajew (class 11); on his international debut he was a bronze medallist in Greece, on his second appearance gold in Slovenia.
Strong representation from the hosts, there is no shortage of high-flying names from foreign shores.
Turkey’s Abdullah Ozturk (class 4), Hungary’s Peter Palos (class 11) and Norway’s Tommy Urhaug (class 5) all compete in the men’s singles; all have Paralympic Games gold medals to their credit. Abdullah Ozturk won in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro and more recently in Tokyo; similarly, Peter Palos prevailed in Tokyo, having earlier, like Tommy Urhaug succeeded in London.
Notably, Abdullah Ozturk is the only member of the trio to have secured a title this year, he won in Slovenia, in Wladyslawowo he faces stern opposition; also, in men’s singles class 4 appears the name of Slovakia’s Boris Travincek, he prevailed some three weeks ago in Monetenegro.
Similarly, in-form players compete from outside Polish borders in the women’s singles as do Paralympic Games and World champions.
Turkey’s Ebru Acer (class 11), the winner in Slovenia is present, as is Serbia’s Borislava Peric-Rankovic (class 4), successful in Lignano and in 2016 gold medallist in Rio de Janeiro. Likrewise, the names of Kubra Korkut (class 7), like Ebru Acer from Turkey and Hungary’s Alexa Svitacs (class 9) appear on the entry list.
A total of 98 men and 43 women from 23 associations compete.