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Other Events - 1 Aug 2019

Amber racket 2019: three reasons to go to the Baltic Sea


From September 25th to 29th, the eighth big table tennis tournament under the brand Amber Racket 2019 will take place in the Kaliningrad region (the Russian enclave which is situated between Poland and Lithuania). It is remarkable that competitions in the most western city of the country remain the only commercial tournament in the territory of Russia where so many foreign participants meet and play. The important question is why? According to the organizers represented by the Kaliningrad Regional Federation of Table Tennis and local retail chain of stores SPAR Kaliningrad - there are at least three reasons:


First, perfect location. Indeed, Kaliningrad is only 350 km away from Warsaw and Vilnius (or Kaunas). These airports host low-cost carriers like Ryanair and Wizzair. Some foreign participants travel by car or by bus, a part of players arrives to the nearby Gdansk which is only 150 kilometers from Kaliningrad. Many Russian table tennis stars play for the European clubs, in particular in Poland and France.     


Secondly, professionalism and high skill of participants of competitions. Both young promising players and winners and prize-winners of the European and the world championships among veterans also the acting players of the combined countries visit the Tournament with pleasure. The youth and veterans can play both in their category and in Open - therefore it will not be boring. This year the Amber Racket has grown for one play-day and has been supplemented by a Veterans “Over 50 years” event. The number of the participant countries remains stable; the players come from 12-13 countries. Last year the Tournament hosted for the first time the delegation from Spain including cadets and juniors.


Johnathan MCDONALD, junior from Sweden, explained: “I loved very much the Amber Racket. It was a highly organized and a really exciting competition. I had a lot of games and I managed to rehabilitate in the OPEN after I had given a real bad performance in Juniors.  It’s actually kind of cool to watch and then to compete with global players. Kaliningrad is a very beautiful city with a distinctive culture.”


Thirdly, it is very cool that since July 1, 2019 citizens of 53 countries can obtain a free e-visa in only 4 days to visit the Kaliningrad region!


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The participants and the spectators remember the 2018 Tournament for highly qualified teams in Junior’s and Veteran’s events and especially tough competition in the OPEN. Four Russian champions (since 2012) played in this open category: Viacheslav BUROV, Grigorii VLASOV, Mikhail PAYKOV, Alexey LIVENTSOV. Besides them, there were the representatives of national teams from Belarus and Ukraine – Pavel PLATONOV, Evgenii PRISHCHEPA and an internationally highest rated among all players - Kirill SKACHKOV.


The twice champion of Russia in Singles and the Amber Racket -2018 winner Viacheslav BUROV said: “I would like to say a massive thank you to the organisers for such wonderful competition. It’s already the 7th time I take part in the tournaments in Kaliningrad witnessing the evolution of the Amber racket. The spectators are particularly noteworthy – they are well versed in game and they give great support to the players.  Every match day fans are filling the Hall with their presence and it’s really exciting to play for such audience.  I will come to the Amber Racket every year with great pleasure!”.

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