“If I win, I always have to fight…all three of the Ukrainian players are very strong and it is always close.”
Eyes were on Denmark’s medal contenders Peter Rosenmeier and Sophie Amanda Walloe at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Para Table Tennis European Championships, which began on Monday (12 October) in Vejle, Denmark.
Both Rosenmeier of class 6 and Walloe of class 10 were victorious on day one. No. 2 ranked Rosenmeier is looking to improve on his game moving forward after defeating Germany’s Thomasz Kusiak 3:0, while Walloe will be looking for one more win Tuesday (13 October) to qualify for the quarterfinals.
“Even though I’m glad that I can focus on the quarterfinals [Tuesday] night, [Monday] still leaves me with mixed emotions,” said Walloe, who defeated Turkey’s Merve Demir 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6. “It took some time to really find myself on the court and take control. I succeeded in this for parts of the second game, but I feel like there is more in me than what I’ve shown so far.”
Poland’s Natalia Partyka reminded her opponents why she is the reigning class 10 world champion. Returning to competition for the first time since her 2014 World Championships win, Partyka dominated in both of her matches, overcoming Russia’s Daria Saratov and Turkey’s Hilal Turkkan with 3:0 wins. Not currently ranked, a European Championships singles gold medal is her only chance to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
World No. 1 Sandra Paovic finished day one with wins over Poland’s Katarzyna Marszal and Ukraine’s Antonina Khodzynskaya, qualifying her for the quarterfinals.
“The competition is always very tough,” Paovic said. “If I win, I always have to fight…all three of the Ukrainian players are very strong and it is always close.”
There was an upset in the men’s class 8, with Ukraine’s No. 20 Ivan Mai beating France’s No. 2 Thomas Bouvais 3:2.
Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger and Thomas Bruchle both looked like they could reach the podium in the class 3 competition. Ranked world No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, only behind China’s Panfeng Feng, both men finished day one strong.
Complete day one results can be found on the 2015 Para Table Tennis European Championships website, along with live streaming of all competition tables.
Competition will continue on Tuesday (13 October) with the singles competition and the remainder of the group stage and the quarterfinals.