Benedek Oláh finally clinched gold at Finlandia OpenPhoto: Heikki Kiiskinen
Benedek OLÁH finally succeeded in his goal of winning Finlandia Open. The Finn, who lives in Budapest and plays in the French league, beat Swiss Lionel WEBER 4-2 in semifinal and Japan's Koyo KANAMITSU 4-1 in final. In his games on Saturday, OLÁH lost only one game, so the win can even be considered clear.
“Saturday was a must-win game day and you just can't talk about a relaxed playing. Today's focus was quite different and the games went the same way as in France,” a cheerful Finn analyzes.
OLÁH started the final with powerful backhands and won the first two games rapidly 11-5. In the third, the Japanese began to play more on OLÁH'S forehand and the match turned momentarily. An important fourth set came to OLÁH, though the Japanese leading 10-8. After that, the fifth set was no longer a formality. A huge roar at the end of the match showed that the big pressures were relieved with victory.
“It's great to be Finlandia Open's first Finnish winner ever. My own name on the same trophy with names like Jan-Ove WALDNER and Liu GUOLIANG,” OLÁH laughed at his partnership alongside two Olympic winners and legends of the sport.
Finlandia Open has been played since 1981. This year's competition was very popular. The table tennis family also desperately needs lower-level competitions, where young national team players get a lot of matches. The progressive knockout system shows its strength here, but is really heavy for successful players.
“ We absolutely need these kinds of competitions,” explained Ulf "Tickan" Carlsson, the world champion in doubles from 1985, who led Norway in KIsakallio.
Benedek Oláh FIN - Koyo Kanamitsu JPN 11-5, 11-5, 3-11, 15-13, 11-5
Liu Yanhzi AUS - Yuki Sanjo JPN 10-12, 12-14, 11-8, 11-9, 4-11, 11-6, 11-3
Complete results here