Anna KIRICHENKO on test in FinlandPhoto: Jarmo Koskela
2019 Finlandia Open
The 2019 Finlandia Open will kick off on Thursday for the 32nd time. The competition has been played since 1981 (though biennially in the early years) and the men's singles winner list features well-known table tennis names from Jan-Ove WALDNER and LIU Guoliang to Mattias FALCK.
Japan's Hokuto KORIYMA, who has dominated the last three years of the race, is not involved this time. Home crowd naturally expects Benedek OLÁH to eventually win his home competition. First-seeded OLÁH would be the first Finnish winner in the history of competition.
Women's singles win has gone to Japan for the last five years. Now the first-seeded player is MA Wenting of Norway, who was second after Ayane MORITA a year ago. The host country player Anna KIRICHENKO is also high on seeding list.
On Thursday, there will be a team competition and the singles will be played Friday to Sunday. In singles FTTA is using a very complex progressive knockout system that ultimately gives each player an accurate position. It is thanks to this system that the Finlandia Open has maintained its popularity as a popular competition for young players. At best, the player will get 7-8 singles in the competition.
There are 120 male and 75 female players from 29 countries. The venue is - for the 8th time - Kisakallio Sports Institute, which provides players with excellent conditions. The venue is only a short walk from the rooms and dining takes place in the same center. The players are able to rest in their own rooms between the matches.
At the same time, the ETTU Executive Board will also have it meeting in Finland. Vice President Sonja Grefberg will get her colleagues home for the first time. It is snowy but this time not very cold, just a few degrees below zero. Finnish winter wellcomes everyone!
The results & other information will be updated here