OLAH and LUNDSTROM champions of FinlandPhoto: Foto Mans Holmberg
Benedek OLAH took the show with style in Finnish championships in Helsinki. The former champion Roope KANTOLA managed to take one set in the final while OLAH was correcting his last year's mistake. In overall the 5th title for OLAH was pretty easy. In semis OLAH ,still strongly aiming to Rio Olympic tables, defeated veteran Pasi VALASTI 4-0, which made Valasti thoughtful.
"For me there was absolutely no chance for victory. Now we may have a situation that the gap between the country's number one player and the next level is greater than ever before in the whole Finnish table tennis history" VALASTI thought.
Olah, in turn, said that the victory finally came through difficulties. With knee problems he even planned not to play the final at all. Outsiders did not even notice the situation. The audience believed that the champion took a point whenever he wished against every opponent.
OLAH´s second title came in men's doubles with Otto TENNILÄ. In mixed the audience got a bit of a surprise when OLAH and women's champion Annika LUNDSTROM lost their semifinal. It barely created a lot of disappointment for only 15 year old LUNDSTROM who snatched the women's singles title for the first time in her career. The surprising finalist was Jannika OKSANEN who still in Saturday's qualifying defeated the becoming champion clearly 3-0.
"I played more aggressively my own game, and anyway much better than on Saturday, LUNDSTROM said. After the competition she hurried immediately to the airport and a training camp with Tommy DANIELSSON in Luxembourg. The timetable was tough and the new champion still had to give her doping sample. In the end, however, all went happily."
By Esko HEIKKINEN
1. Pentti OLAH 11-4,11-5, 11-13, 11-,5,11-4
2. Roope KANTOLA
3. Pasi VALASTI & Samuli SOINE
1. Annika LUNDSTROM 11-4,12-10, 7-11 11-,4, 11-7
2. Jannika OKSANEN
3. Anna KIRICHENKO & LUO Yumo
1. Pentti OLAH / Otto TENNILÄ
2. Mika RÄSÄNEN / Manu KARJALAINEN
3. Samuli SOINE / Roope KANTOLA & Aki KONTALA / Miikka O'CONNOR
1. Sofie ERIKSSON / LUO Yumo
2. Annika LUNDSTROM / Pihla ERIKSSON
3. Jannika OKSANEN / Anna KIRICHENKO
1. Lauri LAANE / LUO Yumo
2. Samuli SOINE / Jannika OKSANEN
3. Pentti OLAH / Annika LUNDSTROM & Alex NAUMI / Pihla ERIKSSON