Vejle 2015: Valera, Partyka win European titlesSpain’s Alvaro Valera took gold in the men’s class 6 single; Poland’s Natalia Partyka took the crown in the women’s class 10. 15 Oct 2015
“It was a really tough match. The Danish player was very strong and was playing here at home. I just played a good match and took the title home.”
Denmark’s home favourite Peter Rosenmeier had a packed hall supporting him on Wednesday (14 October) at the 2015 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Para-Table Tennis European Championships in Vejle, Denmark. The No. 2 ranked Danish athlete battled against No. 1 Alvaro Valera in the men’s class 6 finals, but handed over his European Championship crown to the Spaniard.
Rosenmeier stayed alive with a fourth game 14-12 win but fell in the fifth, resulting in a 3:2 victory for Valera.
“It feels amazing to win,” Valera said. “It was a really tough match. The Danish player was very strong and was playing here at home. I just played a good match and took the title home.”
Poland’s three-time Paralympic champion Natalia Partyka finished at the top of class 10, securing her spot at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games with a 3:0 win over Denmark’s Sophie Walloe.
There was a surprise win for class 7 world No. 11 Jean-Paul Montanus of the Netherlands, who beat world Great Britain’s No. 1 Will Bayley 3:1.
“This is the first time I have won the European Championships and it feels great,” Montanus said. “It is very special to beat Will Bayley because I know he is the best in class 7 and now I have beaten him in a major final. I have directly qualified for my first Paralympics and it just feels great to know I have secured my spot.”
The Croatia’s Sandra Paovic defended her title with a strong 3:0 win over Ukraine’s Antonina Khodzynskaya. The world No. 1 is not new to standing at the top of the podium. With her first international competition only two years ago, Paovic’s win in Denmark marks her third major tournament gold.
Norway’s Aida Dahlen took the class 8 gold medal with a close 3:2 win over Germany’s Juliane Wolf. Down 1-6 in the fifth, Dahlen fought back and took home her first major tournament gold.
“I didn’t think I was going to win because I was focusing on results instead of my game,” Dahlen said. “I had no faith in myself, but I knew I had to do something or I’d be really disappointed. I completely relaxed and just turned it around.”
Swedish favourite Anna-carin Ahlquist won the class 3 competition with a close 3:2 win over Croatia’s Andela Muzinic. After winning the first game, Ahlquist had to fight back and narrowly secured a second win (12-10) in the fourth. The world No. 1 went into the fifth game strong and defended her European Championships title.
Great Britain’s Rob Davies beat France’s Jean-François Ducay 3:2 to claim his second consecutive European Championship gold medal. It was Great Britain’s only singles gold medal from the Championships.
Ukraine’s Natalya Kosmina gave up her 2013 European Championship title with a 1:3 loss against Russia’s Elena Prokofeva. The class 1 women met in the finals earlier in the year at the 2015 Slovakia Open, with Prokofeva taking the gold there as well.
Complete day three 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 Thursday (15 October) with the team competition.