2017 in the rearview mirrorPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
The 2017 European Para Table Tennis Championships organized by the NPC Slovenia under the auspices and authority of the Slovenian Table Tennis Association and International Table Tennis Federation (Para Table Tennis Division) concluded in Slovenia’s city of Lasko. A total of 26 countries won medals. Most medals – 11 each – won Turkey, Poland and France, followed by Ukraine and Great Britain with 10 medals each. Ukraine won most gold medals (5) and is followed by Turkey with 4 gold medals. At least one gold medal won 10 participating countries.
The ETTU is pleased to announce that the 2018, 2019 and 2020 Europe Youth Top 10 events have been awarded to the Associations of Portugal, Netherlands and Germany respectively. President Ronald KRAMER is enthusiast about the executive Board's decision to award three consecutive editions of the Youth Top-10 .
"It shows not only the willingness of these associations to host this important European Cadet and Junior event, it also witnesses a great spirit of cooperation within ETTU. After the successful 2017 edition in Worcester (ENG), I wish to congratulate and thank the three Associations for their support given to the development of our young players, by accommodating and hosting these three events".
German player Dimitrij OVTCHAROV is the Liebherr 2017 Men’s World Cup Champion after defeating the giant slayer, his compatriot Timo BOLL in front of a capacity crowd in Liege, Belgium, on 22 October 2017: 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-2. BOLL, who was the hero of the Belgium crowd after saving seven match points to beat LIN Gauyuan (CHN) in the quarter final, and then beat Mr Unbeatable, world number one MA Long (CHN) in the semi final earlier.
LI Jie of Netherlands and Elizabeta SAMARA of Romania, both concluded their journey at the 2017 Uncle Pop Women’s World Cup in Markham, Canada, in the quarterfinal. LIU Jia of Austria, Georginal POTA of Hungary and Matilda EKHOLM of Sweden exited one round earlier. China's ZHU Yuling is the newly crowned Champion of the Uncle Pop 2017 ITTF Women's World Cup presented by Polar Naturals held in Markham, Canada from 27 – 29 October 2017. The top seed claimed her career first ITTF Women's World Cup title in a grueling 7-games thriller, and in turn stopping her teammate LIU Shiwen's hope of a record fifth title.
The European Table Tennis Union Executive Board is pleased to announce the European Championships Team Events Final Stage will be hosted by the French Federation (FFTT) in the city of Nantes during September 2019. New format has been approved two months ago and starting from 2018 the European Teams Championships will be played over a period of two years and be concluded with the final stage with 24 men’s teams and 24 women’s teams in odd numbered years.
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV`s fantasy season continued on Sunday as he beat his compatriot Timo BOLL after full seven games to lift the title of the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open in Magdeburg – 4:3 (9:11, 11:5, 11:9, 6:11, 11:7, 7:11, 11:6). It was a great pleasure for home crowd to see all-German final, but as well big satisfaction for OVTCHAROV who won Men`s World Cup three weeks ago in Belgium, beating his today`s opponent BOLL in six sets.
ITTF European Championships Team Events Stage 1 draw took place in Stockholm, during the Swedish Open. The opening stage will be held in period between 2018 and 2019. Top 18 teams are in A section. In each, Men’s and Women’s Event there are 6 groups with three teams. In B groups there are 21 men’s teams and 17 Women’s.
Romania won the bronze medal in the Junior Boy's and Girls Team’s Event at the 2017 ITTF World Junior Championships in Riva del Garda. They perfect run was halted in the semi final. No. four seeds in Girls Team's Event suffered defeat by the hand of the team of China, no. two seeds. Adina DIACONU lost her encounter against SUN Yingsha (3-11, 6-11, 6-11), Andreea DRAGOMAN suffered by the hands of WANG Manyu (4-11, 18-20, 3-11) and Tania PLAIAN lost against SHI Xuanyao (2-11, 5-11, 10-12) Like few hours earlier, in Junior Girls Event, Romania’s boys also suffered defeat against China in the semi final. On their way to the medal rostrum the no.6 seeds, they beat Korea by three matches to two followed by success against Sweden, the no.10 seeds. They won by the very same margin. On the second day of play, they continued the policy; in another thriller they overcame the Unites States, the no.9 seeds. The creators of the Romania’s success were Cristian PLETEA, Rares SIPOS and Dragos Florin Oprea.
Sweden`s rising star, 15-year-old Truls MOREGARD has accomplished a great achievement, winning silver medal in the Boys Singles event at the 2017 ITTF World Junior Championships in Riva del Garda, Italy. Starting from the qualifications three days ago, he managed to progress to the gold medal contest, held today, where he was beaten by no. 1 seed China`s XUE Fei in five games – 4:1 (11:9, 12:10, 11:4, 9:11, 11:8). Penultimate day of the 2017 ITTF World Junior Championships in Riva del Garda: No. 4 Cristian PLETEA and Adina DIACONU lost to no. 1 China`s XUE Fei/WANG Manyu in straight games. Sweden`s Truls MOREGARD upset both Yuto KIZUKURI, the no.2 seed, and XU Haidong to reach Junior Boys Singles semis.
The winners of the inaugural T2 Asia Pacific League at the Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios in Johor Baru are TEAM MAZE represented by Timo BOLL, CHEN Chien-An and Alexander SHIBAEV alongside Feng Tianwei, Hina HAYATA and YANG Haeun won the team title; Timo BOLL emerged the Men’s individual champion, Bernadette SZOCS secured the top prize in counterpart crown in the Women’s event. In the final they overcame Team PERSSON with Jun MIZUTANI, JOO Saehyuk and Mattias KARLSSON with Suthasini SAWETTABUT, SHI Xunyao and Bernadette SZOCS being the female members. ETTU President Ronald KRAMER witnessed the final day of the T2 Championships in Johor:
"Spending a family visit in Singapore, I was glad to be able to attend the finals in Johor, next door to Singapore. It was a real great experience, with an enthusiastic crowd, who were cheering our European finalists. I have enjoyed every minute of these finals”.
Germany's Timo BOLL & reigning World Champion DING Ning (CHN) have been crowned the 2017 Male & Female Table Tennis Stars at the Astana 2017 ITTF Star Awards. The Male Table Tennis Star award presented by DHS saw a tough contest with reigning World & Olympic Champion MA Long who had been dominating the international scene for several years, newly crowned Men's World Cup Champion Dimitrij OVTCHAROV, table tennis legend Timo BOLL and Japanese prodigy Tomokazu HARIMOTO all eyeing for the prestigious title… It was former world number one BOLL, who rolled back the years to pull off several amazing comebacks and spectacular action in 2017 who impressed table tennis fans all over the world and the expert panel, which included athletes and members of the media, to garner the most votes to be crowned the 2017 Table Tennis Star.
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV has achieved one of his biggest successes by reaching the world number one ranking on the ITTF World Ranking list. The 29-year-old German managed it by beating Japanese Koki NIWA after full seven games of the opening round match at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Astana, Kazakhstan on Friday 15th December. “This is the best year of my career! I am immensely proud to be no. 1 in January. It feels like a world title to me, and I've worked for 20 years to achieve it”, stressed actual no. 3 Dimitrij OVTCHAROV after breathtaking win against current no. 8 Koki NIWA 4:3 (10:12, 11:6, 12:14, 11:6, 9:11, 11:9, 11:5).
The Draw for the knockout phase of the European club`s competitions, held on December 22nd in Luxembourg, confronts some longtime opponents like Saarbrucken and Ochsenhausen who will meet in the all-German TTCLM Quarter-finals. Other pairs are following: Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg – Roskilde Bordtennis BTK61, Sporting Club de Portugal – Stella Sport La Romagne, UMMC – Borussia Dusseldorf. First games are scheduled for January 24-26th, while returning encounters will be held on February 9th. Reigning champion, four times winner and top favorite for the title Orenburg (no. 1 seed) faces lowest seeded club in the ongoing season Roskilde (started as no. 16). Two TTCLM newcomers will play one against another, Sporting vs. Stella Sport, to create best ever result in their histories. The 2009 runner-up Ochsenhausen opposes 2012 semi-finalist Saarbrucken, while 2012 finalist UMMC faces record holder with 10 titles and actual no. 2 seed Borussia Dusseldorf. Regarding Seamaster ECLW, top seed Tarnobrzeg (POL), last year`s runner-up, plays against double ECLW winner Linz AG Froschberg (AUT). The 2016 ETTU Cup Women winner CP LYSSOS Lille Metropole (FRA) faces Dr. CASL (CRO) whose team is composed to make best ever season in club`s history. Current ETTU Cup Women champion Bursa Buyuksehir Belediyespor (TUR) and TT Saint-Quentinois (FRA) will fight for their best ECLW achievements so far, while reigning ECLW champion and four times winner Berlin Eastside (GER, no. 2 seed) are going to play against Szekszard (HUN).