Surprise winners shine at Slovenian Para-Table Tennis Open

Find out who won the men’s and women’s singles events and the team events at the major international competition. 12 May 2014
An athlete hits a table tennis ball.

Germany's Valentin Baus won the men's Class 5 singles event at the 2014 ITTF Slovenian Para-Table Tennis Open.


Leading names prevailed in the women’s singles events, with Croatia’s Sandra Paovic and Poland’s Karolina Pek being the only two players to prevent a sweep by the top seeds.

Men’s singles

Serbia’s Goran Perlic, Germany’s Valentin Baus and Bulgaria’s Denislav Kodjabashev were the players to cause the biggest surprises in the men’s singles events at the 2014 ITTF Slovenian Para-Table Tennis Open in Laszko.

Against the odds Perlic secured the Class 2 title, Valentin Baus arrested the Class 5 crown and Denislav Kodjabashev emerged as the Class 10 champion.

Furthermore, none of the three occupied a top four seeded position and all had suffered defeats on opening day.

Perlic had been beaten by the Czech Republic’s Jiri Suchanek, Baus lost to Frenchman Gregory Rosec and Kodjabashev experienced a reverse against Spain’s Jorge Cardona.

However, all came back in the knockout stages to win their respective classes, with Kodjabashev perhaps being the most impressive as he beat Spain’s top-seeded Jose Manuel Ruiz in his final.

In Class 8, Hungary’s Andras Csonka overcame Sweden’s Emil Andersson to secure gold and in Class 11, France’s Pascal Pereira of France recovered from a two-games deficit to beat Hungary’s Paralympic champion Peter Palos.

In all other men’s classes, the top seeds secured the winning prize.

Great Britain’s Robert Davies won Class 1 by beating surprise finalist, Italy’s Andrea Borgato, in the final and Russia’s Iurii Nozfrunov ousted the Netherlands’ Ronald Vijverberg in the Class 9 final.

Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger beat Florian Merrien in Class 3, Turkey’s Abdullah Ozturk accounted for Frenchman Maxime Thomas in Class 4 and Alvaro Valera defeated Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier in the Class 6 final.

Not to be outdone, in Class 7, Great Britain’s Will Bayley struck gold, overcoming Spain’s Jordi Morales to secure the top prize.

Women’s singles

Leading names prevailed in the women’s singles events, with Croatia’s Sandra Paovic and Poland’s Karolina Pek being the only two players to prevent a sweep by the top seeds.

Occupying the second-seeded position in the competition, Paovic beat Russia’s top-seeded Raissa Tchebanika to capture the Class 6 title and Pek turned the tables to defeat Russia’s Olga Komleva in the Class 9 final.

Russia’s Nadejda Pouchpacheva won the Class 1-2 title, Croatia’s Andela Muzinic emerged as the gold medallist in Class 3 and Serbia’s Borislava Peric-Rankovic was crowned champion in the Class 4-5 event.

The Netherlands’ Paralympic champion Kelly van Zon vercame Argentina’s Gizelle Munoz for the second time in the competition to secure the top prize in the Class 7 event, and Brazil’s top-seeded Bruna Alexandre did not lose a single game en route to winning Class 10.

In Class 8, France’s Thu Kamkasomphu beat Germany’s Juliane Wolf, and in Class 11, Poland’s Krystyna Siemienieckca defeated Japan’s Maki Ito.

Team events

Croatia’s Pavao Josic and Great Britain’s David Wetherill emerged as the most unexpected gold medallists in the men’s team events, winning the Class 6 title in style against the French duo of Bastien Grundeler and Tomas Fernandez.

The Class 4 team title went to France’s Maxime Thomas and Emeric Martin, the Class 9 crown went to Spain’s Juan Bautista Perez Gonzalez and Alvaro Valera and Class 1 saw Great Britain’s Paul Davies and Robert Davies combine to secure the title beating Germany’s Holger Nikelis and Marcus Sieger in the final.

France’s Damien Lamirault and Stephane Molliens won Class 2, Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger and Thomas Bruchle won Class 3 and France’s Florian Merrien, Nicolas Savant-Aira and Gregory Rosec won Class 5.

In Class 8, Hungary’s Andras Csonka and Gyula Zborai accounted for Poland’s Piotr Grudzien and Marcin Skrzynecki at the final hurdle to clinch gold.

In Class 7, the British trio of of Will Bayley, Paul Karabardak and Billy Shilton overcame the formation of Belgium’s Ben Despineux and Arnaud Duquesne who joined forces with Jean-Paul Duquesne of the Netherlands.

The Class 10 title went to Spain’s Manuel Ruiz and Cardona, while the Class 11 crown went to Hungary’s Peter Palos and Belgium’s Florian van Acker.

In the women’s team events, the Russian duo of Elena Epishkina and Olga Komleva, the second seeds, joined forces to beat the Polish partnership comprising Dayana Jastrzebska and Karolina Pek, the top seeds, to arrest the title in Class 8-9.

All of the other women’s team events were won by the top seeds.

Class 1-3 was won by the Croatian partnership of Andela Muzinic and Helena Dretar-Karic and Class 4-5 saw the Serbian team of Borislava Peric-Rankovic, Nada Matic and Zorica Popadic finish in first place.

The Russian outfit comprising Ulija Shishkina, Raissa Tchebanika and Fatma Fattakova emerged in first place in Class 6-7, while in Class 10, the Turkish outfit of Neslihan Kavas, Umran Urtis and Merve Demir secured the top step of the podium.