The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Para-Table Tennis European Championships will get underway Friday (21 October) in Split, Croatia.
The competition consists of three days of singles matches followed by three days of team matches. At the event, athletes can earn qualification points toward the world rankings that will be used to determine spots at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. In addition, the winner of each singles event in Split will qualify for the Games.
The Championships will take place at the 12,000-seat Spaladium Arena in the heart of the Mediterranean across 16 tables.
Poland’s Natalia Partyka should be one of the highly touted favourites in Split in the women’s Class 10. Partyka, an Olympian and Paralympian, won gold in the event at both the Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.
France’s Thu Kamkasomphou won gold in Class 8 at Beijing 2008 and is toward the top of the rankings entering the European Championships. Alena Kanova of Slovakia, a silver medallist in Beijing, has been dominating Class 3 all year and will look to continue her streak in Split.
Sweden’s Fredrick Anderson will be a threat to win on the men’s side, after building off his bronze-medal performance in Class 9-10 at Beijing 2008 the last couple of seasons. Florian Merrien of France won gold in the Class 3 team event at Beijing, but could be a threat for individual gold in Split, too.