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Viktor Didukh – Photo By: Blaz Ursic / ZSIS – POK

Seeking Repeat of Last Year, Seeking Repeat of Last Week, the Quest in Bratislava

Seeking Repeat of Last Year, Seeking Repeat of Last Week, the Quest in Bratislava

2016 Slovakia Para Open Championships
Courtesy of ITTF

Successful one year ago, once again staged in the capital city of Bratislava, no less than 12 players seek to repeat the feat at the forthcoming 2016 Slovakia Para Open Championships.

Play starts with the individual events in the Slovnaft Arena on Wednesday May 11th and concludes on Saturday May 14th when the medalists in the team events will be announced.

Player in Form
Seeking successful title defenses, of those with that goal, the player in form is Ukraine’s Viktor Didukh; he is the one member of the group who struck gold at the recently completed Thermana Lasko 2016 Slovenia Para Open.

He clinched the Men’s Singles Class 8 title beating China’s Zhao Shuai in the penultimate round prior to overcoming Sweden’s Emil Andersson to secure the title.

The win underlined the reasons why the 28 year old is currently listed at no.1 on the Men’s Class 8 World Rankings; additionally earlier this year in Italy he enjoyed success at the Lignano Masters Open.

Silver Medalists in Slovenia
Golden days for Viktor Didukh; five further players who claimed the top prize last year in Slovakia and this year defend their titles, secured medals last week in Slovenia.

Turkey’s Abullah Ozturk was the runner up in Men’s Singles Class 4 beaten by colleague Nesim Turan in the final; in Bratislava they may well meet again, Nesim Turan also appears on the Slovakia entry list.

Likewise, in Slovenia, Borislava Peric-Rankovic was beaten in the final of Women’s Singles Class 4 by Serbian colleague, Nada Matic; in Slovakia they could well meet again; both names appear on the entry list as Borislava Peric-Rankovic seeks to defend her title.

Semi-Final Defeats
Runners up spot in Lasko for Abullah Ozturk and Borislava Peric-Rankovic; in Slovenia it was bronze for three men who secured gold last year in Slovakia.

Jean-François Ducay was beaten at the semi-final stage of Class 1 by Great Britain’s Paul Davies, Thailand’s Rungroj Thainiyom experienced defeat in the same round losing to Spain’s Alvaro Valera, whilst it was a likewise fate for Ukraine’s Mykhaylo Popov in Class 7.

Like Jean-François Ducay, he experienced defeat at the hands of Great Britain; he was beaten by Will Bayley.

Farewell at QuarterFinal Stage
Semi-final defeats in Lasko for three players who seek a successful title defense in Bratislava; for three more, it was a quarterfinal exit.

In the Men’s Singles events in Class 5, Norway’s Tommy Urhaug was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Ming-Chih; whilst in the counterpart Women’s Singles events, at the same stage, the Slovak Republic’s Alena Kanova experienced defeat at the hands of Sweden’s Ann-Carin Ahlquist.

Similarly, Ukraine’s Yulia Klimenko departed in the same round beaten by Germany’s Stephanie Grebe.

Narrow Margin
Seeking better fortunes in Bratislava than in Lasko; the one defending champion for whom that is most definitely the situation is Isabelle Lafaye of France; the winner of Women’s Singles Class 1-2 last year.

In Slovenia in Class on games ratio it was fourth place in the first stage group.

Koreans Not Present in Lasko
Present in Lasko last week, for two defending champions on duty this year in Slovakia, it is not the situation; neither Korea’s Son Byeongjun, who won Men’s Singles Class 11 a year ago nor Jung Younga, the Women’s Class 5 winner, were present in Lasko.

Winners in Lasko, on Bucharest Duty
However, just as there are 12 players defending titles, there are 12 players who won last week in Slovenia and are seeking to secure consecutive titles.

In the Women’s Singles events, in addition to Nesim Turan (Class 4); Italy’s Giadda Rossi (Class 2) and Ukraine’s Natalia Kosmina (Class 11) are on duty in Bratislava.

Likewise in the Men’s Singles events, additional to Viktor Didukh and Nesim Turan, Great Britain’s Robert Davies (Class 1) and Will Bayley (Class 7) are present in Bratislava as are Frenchmen Fabian Lamirault (Class 2) and Mateo Boheas (Class 10) alongside Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger (Class 3), Spain’s Alvaro Valera (Class 6) and Belgium’s Laurens Devos (Class 9).

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2016 Slovakia Para Open Championships: Entry by Name
2016 Slovakia Para Open Championships: Entry by Association
2016 Slovakia Para Open Championships: Entry by Class

A total of 278 players from 40 national associations representing the continents of Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania will compete in Bratislava.

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