Italy’s Kalem upsets at Lignano Master Open

The No. 9 Italian defeated No. 2 Nozdrunov for the men’s singles class 9 title. 22 Feb 2016
Anna-Carin Ahlquist

Anna-Carin Ahlquist's main competitors in her class are Slovakia's Alena Kanova and Slovenia's Mateja Pintar.

ⒸMartin Naucler
By Devon Robertson | For the IPC

Hosts Italy took advantage of their home event, as the Lignano Master Open came to a close Saturday (20 February).

World No. 9 para-table tennis player Mohamed Amine Kalem beat world No. 2 Iurii Nozdrunov of Russia in the final of the men’s singles class 9 competition. It was Kalem’s first gold medal at the Lignano Master Open since 2012.

Italians Giada Rossi and Michela Brunelli repeated their 2015 team results, taking bronze in the women’s class 2-3. Both women also took bronze in their respective single’s class events. In the men’s class 2 singles competition, Federico Crosara took bronze for the host nation.

This was the first international competition of 2016, with about 196 athletes from 31 countries in Lignano.

Sweden’s Anna-Carin Ahlquist dominated the competition in class 3. Ahlquist took her sixth singles gold and seventh consecutive singles medal. The European champion beat Croatia’s Andela Muzinic in the finals, repeating the result from the 2015 European Championships.

Croatia’s Sandra Paovic successfully defended her 2015 singles crown. The class 6 world and European champion defeated world No. 3, Ukraine’s Maryna Lytovchenko.

Ukraine’s Viktor Didukh won his third consecutive singles gold medal against Sweden’s Emil Andersson. The pair met up at the 2015 European Championships, where Didukh took him 3-0. Andersson fought but fell 2-3 against the world No. 1 in the Lignano finals to take silver. Didukh beat teammate Ivan Mai to advance to the finals against Andersson.

The Ukrainian pair went on to win the class 8 team competition.

There were a few upsets with some of the big names of the tournament not coming out on-top like expected.

Great Britain’s Will Bayley, failed to reach the podium in the men’s singles class 7 competition. After finishing first in his group, Bayley was not able to make it through the first round of the knock-outs, losing to Spain’s Jordi Morales.

Norway’s Tommy Urhaug, who is a 12-time Lignano Master Open medallist, was not able to make it through the round robin portion of the tournament.

Class 7 Paralympic, world and European champion, the Netherlands’ Kelly Van Zon, could not hold on to her Lignano Master Open domination. Van Zon had made it to the finals of the singles competition in the last six consecutive tournaments. Falling to Turkey’s Kubra Ocsoy and the gold medal winner, Van Zon took bronze.

Thailand’s world No. 3 Rungroj Thainiyiom took gold in the men’s class 6 competition at his first Lignano Master Open. The Paralympic champion beat Danish world No. 2 Peter Rosenmeier in the finals.

Full results of the 2016 Lignano Master Open can be found on the ITTF Para Table Tennis website.