One of the most established Para table tennis tournaments is underway in Italy, as some of the top international players are seeing action for the first time since Rio 2016 at the 2017 Lignano Masters Open from 1-4 March.
Notably five gold medallists in the individual events from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will compete: Serbia’s women’s class 4 champion Borislava Peric-Rankovic; Croatia’s women’s class 6 champion Sandra Paovic; the Netherlands’ women’s class 7 Kelly Van Zon; Belgium’s men’s class 11 champion Florian Van Acker; and Ukraine’s women’s class 11 Natalia Kosmina will be in action.
Also three gold medallists from the team events will be on duty as Ukraine’s Maksym Nikolenko, Viktor Didukh and Poland’s Karolina Pek will compete.
Furthermore Serbia’s Rio 2016 singles bronze medallists Nada Matic (class 4) and Mitar Palikuca (class 5), and Hungary’s silver medallist Andras Csonka (class 8) and bronze medallist Peter Palos (class 11) all take to the table.
A total of 226 players, representing 34 countries will be present.
“The Lignano Masters Open has become one of the most anticipated international tournaments; we are proud of that fact. Athletes arrive from all over the world; in Lignano, they know they find the best organisational and logistic conditions to be able to play at their highest level. Our guys have the opportunity to compete, in front of their fans, with players of different nations; playing on home soil gives them a special enthusiasm,” Renato Di Napoli, President of the Italian Table Tennis Federation, said.
More information on the Lignano Masters Open can be found on the International Table Tennis Federation’s website.