European Veterans Championships

Ukraine's Viktor VASYLEVSKYI dedicated the victory to his family

On the second day of the play at the STAG European Veterans Championships the remaining two age categories in singles entered the field- Over 40 and Over 45, started playing, followed by all the doubles.

In Group 1 in Over 40 Event, Belgium's Cedric MERCHEZ beat 3-0 (11-3, 11-4, 11-1) Sweden's Anders LINDSTROM, 3-0 (11-3, 11-3, 11-5) Germany's Thorsten JONS-ERICHSEN and 3-0 (13-11, 11-6, 11-3) Italy's Marco RIGO and emerged at the top of the standings.

“I feel very well and I am in a very good shape. I practiced a lot and my body is in excellent shape for the moment. I will try to play at my best level in this tournament. I am the defending champion, but in table tennis you can never tell, I will play match by match. Three years ago in Budapest it was amazing, Greece's Ioannis VLOTINOS was leading 2-1 and 6-2 in the fourth game. I took timeout and then I won 11-7, 11-7 the last two games. It was unbelievable and the title was a surprise for me, because I was a challenger. Here in Rimini there are many strong players, starting form Italy's Valentino PIACENTINI. It will be tough, but I am optimistic. I came here to play well and to win,” said MERCHEZ

PIACENTINI won Group 3, defeating by walkover Ukraine's Oleksii KAULIK and 3-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-4) Finland's Elmo RÄSÄNEN. “Last September I started playing again after ten years of inactivity and it's very difficult to get back in shape. I came here to Rimini above all to have fun, meet friends and be in company. I enjoy to play, but I do not have a competitive goal, even if I do not like to lose and when I play I do all the possible to win.  At these European Veterans Championships I see many athletes, who are well trained and in great shape. According to me MERCHEZ is the favorite for the title. This is a very beautiful event and the atmosphere is great. It's fantastic that there are so many persons who have a real passion for table tennis. I like to share these moments with athletes I played against during my career”.

In Group 1 of Over 45 Ukraine's Viktor VASYLEVSKYI prevailed 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-8) over France's Nicolas VITEL and 3-0 (11-2, 11-4, 11-4) over Italy's Valentino MAURO. “I dedicate these victories to my family, that is in Germany because they had to flee the war. My goal for this Championships is only to play and enjoy. I am really happy to be here and to represent my country”.

Finland's Marina DONNER was first in Group 1 of Over 40, accounting for Denmark's Janne Jensen 3-0 (11-9, 11-9, 11-8) and Germany's Zeng Le 3-0 (11-3, 11-4, 11-5). “I am satisfied with my game. I played very well because I knew that my first opponent is a very good player, so I had to play at the top of my game and I did it. I am taking part in European Veterans Championships for the first time. So far 2022 was very positive for me, since I won three gold medals at Finnish Championships. My goals for this tournament? Of course to win. There are several good players, I just have to focus on my game in every match”.

In Group 4 of Over 45 Germany's Sabine NELDNER gave no chance to Finland's Katrin LOOKE (11-4, 11-6, 11-9), France's Corinne CAVICCHI (11-7, 11-2, 11-1) and Wales' Muralitharan BHANUREKA (11-8, 11-5, 17-15). “I am very happy to be here and to play against so many champions from all over Europe. My objectives in these Championships is to have fun and to find many champions to compare myself with. Right now I am very satisfied with my game, I feel very fit”.