Finland: Benedek OLAH is the only favoritePhoto: Anders Lundström
Finnish National Championship
Finnish national championship will be played during the weekend in the legendary table tennis venue of Helsinki Ruskeasuo. The organizing club MBF expect that Finnish table tennis people arrive there and find out how, the overwhelming no. one star Benedek OLAH (WR 132) is currently playing. Olah is seriously aiming the Rio Olympic tables and national championship should be just a piece of cake on the way.
However... It was supposed to be the last year's scenario also, but in the quarterfinals Toni SOINE surprised OLAH. Eventually, the title was finally stolen by Roope KANTOLA from Turku. Now the general opinion is that OLAH has learned his lesson. Among others Samuli SOINE has his word to say and even old gentlemen Pasi VALASTI and Mika RÄSÄNEN are still strongly on the field.
In women's singles reigning champion Luo YOMO (who has started her career in Finland!) is challenged by the young national team players Annika LUNDSTRÖM and Pihla ERIKSSON from the organizing club. Anna KIRICHENKO from Espoo is one of the strongest rivals, too, but women's singles is completely an open trade, in contrast to the men's singles.
Thanks to OLAH, table tennis is gathering more interest in the Finnish media in years. The championship last year was a very nice happening. Now, everyone is waiting to see if MBF will do it even better.
By Esko HEIKKINEN Courtesy of FTTA