Benedek OLÁH and Anna KIRICHENKO Champions in FinlandPhoto: ITTF
The Finnish number one Benedek OLÁH was up to challenge and took the Men´s Singles Event at the National Championships in Finland. OLÁH was the strong favourite to renew his gold again, but it wasn´t just an easy walk-through. In Semi-finals he faced a tough opponent in Pasi VALASTI, former Finnish number one player, who produced his best performance when needed. VALASTI forced OLÁH to decisive set until Benedek found one more gear from his gearbox and cruised past VALASTI to the Final.
In the Final OLÁH had easier job to secure the victory in straight sets against Finland number two ranked Mika RÄSÄNEN, who suffered of minor back problems.
In Women´s Singles the two highest seeded players made it quite easily to the Final. Anna KIRICHENKO played very aggressively from both sides and made it impossible to Annika LUNDSTRÖM to respond. A straight sets win for Anna KIRICHENKO, who now took back the title from Annika.
The doubles event were as surprisising as one could think. Benedek OLÁH and Annika LUNDSTRÖM were the top seeded pair in mixed doubles, but had to settle for silver medals as KIRICHENKO and Jani JORMANAINEN played excellent and took the gold medals.
It was even more difficult for OLÁH in men´s doubles as he and Lauri LAANE went out of the competition in the semi-final against Otto TENNILÄ and Miikka O´CONNOR. The latter pair also won the gold medals later.
Annika LUNDSTRÖM and Pihla ERIKSSON took the title in Women´s doubles.
- Benedek OLÁH
- Mika RÄSÄNEN
- Roope KANTOLA
- Pasi VALASTI
- Anna KIRICHENKO
- Annika LUNDSTRÖM
- Elli RISSANEN
- Yumo LUO
- Otto TENNILÄ / Miikka O´CONNOR
- Pauli HIETIKKO / Toni SOINE
- Benedek OLÁH/ Lauri LAANE
- Jussi MÄKELÄ / Aleksi MUSTONEN
- Annika LUNDSTRÖM / Pihla ERIKSSON
- Elli RISSANEN / Anna KIRICHENKO
- Yumo LUO / Jannika OKSANEN
- Jani JORMANAINEN / Anna KIRICHENKO
- Benedek OLÁH / Annika LUNDSTRÖM
- Alex NAUMI / Pihla ERIKSSON
- Samuli SOINE / Jannika OKSANEN
The Finnish Table Tennis Association and TTC Kuopio, Miko Haarala