Vejle 2015: No. 1 Didukh stands his ground

The Ukrainian held off No. 2 Thomas Bouvais to advance in the men’s class 8 at the Para-Table Tennis European Championships. 14 Oct 2015
Man with table tennis racket celebrates

Ukraine’s world No. 1 Viktor Didukh defeats France’s No. 2 Thomas Bouvais on Day 2 of the 2015 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Para-Table Tennis European Championships.

ⒸMorten Olsen
By Devon Robertson | For the IPC

“This was the biggest and toughest match of maybe my life.”

The men’s class 8 singles at the 2015 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Para-Table Tennis European Championships featured one of the most intense matches on Tuesday (13 October), with Ukraine’s world No. 1 Viktor Didukh defeating France’s No. 2 Thomas Bouvais.

Didukh won 3:1 in the quarterfinal on the second day of the singles competition held in Vejle, Denmark.

The last day of the singles competition gets underway on Wednesday (14 October) with the semifinals and finals.

“This was the biggest and toughest match of maybe my life,” said Didukh, who won 11-1, 3-11, 11-9, 11-8.

“In the last tournament, I lost to him. He knows how to play against me and played very well. He is No. 2 in the world ranking and it will maybe be my toughest match in the tournament.”

It was déjà vu from the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the men’s class 7 with Great Britain’s Will Bayley and Germany’s Jochen Wollmert battling. Bayley reversed the Paralympic final and came out victorious with a 3:0 win over the five-time European Championships singles gold medallist.

Home favourites Sophie Wallow and Peter Rosenmeier are headed for the semifinals. Wallow has advanced following her 3:2 win over Romania’s Ioana-Monica Tepelea in class 10 for her last match of the group stage. The match was too close for comfort with a fifth game score of 13-11. Ranking first in her group, Wallow received a bye in the quarterfinals. Rosenmeier has advanced following his 3:1 win over Israel’s Danny Bobrov in the men’s class 6 quarterfinals.

After progressing past the group stage, London 2012 class 8 medallists Richard Csejtey of Slovakia and Emil Andersson of Sweden fought to qualify for the semifinals. Andersson will be progressing, winning the match 3:0.

Sweden’s Anna-Carin Ahlquist secured her spot in the class 3 semifinals with three 3:0 matches in the group stage. The Paralympic champion and 2001 and 2013 European Championships singles gold medallist is looking to bring home another medal.

“It feels absolutely fantastic to advance,” Ahlquist said. “The competition has been very difficult. Everyone is really, really good and could advance to the final. Anyone could beat anyone, so it is really an amazing competition.”

There was an upset in the class 11 competition, with Hungary’s Paralympic champion and world No. 1 Peter Palos being knocked out by France’s No. 9 Lucas Edouard Creange, who won 3:2.

Complete day two results can be found on the 2015 Para Table Tennis European Championships website, along with live streaming of all competition tables. You can also follow the Championships via the event’s Facebook page.

Competition will continue until 17 October with the team competition.

Day 1 recap