2024 ITTF Montenegro Para Open: Champions and Contenders Revealed

Reigning champions and celebrated tournament victors, Australia’s Yang Qiang, Germany’s Valentin Baus, and Belgium’s Laurens Devos headline the star-studded entry for the 2024 ITTF Montenegro Para Open. The four-day tournament kicks off in the capital city of Podgorica on Wednesday, May 1st.

All three athletes enjoyed immense success at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, followed by triumphs at the Andalucia 2022 World Para Championships. Yang Qiang claimed the women’s singles class 10 title, Valentin Baus won the men’s singles class 5 event, and Laurens Devos emerged victorious in the men’s singles class 9 competition.

The momentum has carried over to 2023, with Baus and Devos securing gold medals at the European Para Championships, while Yang Qiang topped the podium at the Oceania Para Championships.

Joining the trio are other seasoned veterans, including Lei Lina and Ma Lin of Australia. Lei Lina is a three-time world and Paralympic champion in women’s singles class 9, while Ma Lin has been crowned world champion thrice in men’s singles class 9, including a Paralympic gold in 2012.

Independent athlete Elena Prokofeva of Russia has also made her mark, winning the women’s singles class 11 title at the 2018 World Para Championships, the 2019 European Para Championships, and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The list of notable names continues with Korea Republic’s Joo Youngdae, the men’s singles class 1 champion from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and the 2022 Asian Games. At the 2022 World Championships, he claimed a silver medal.

Veteran stars such as Tahl Leibovoitz, Jan Riapos, Tommy Urhaug, and Stéphane Messi, all former Paralympic champions, will also be in action, aiming to turn back the clock and reclaim their former glory.

The host nation of Montenegro will be represented by Flip Radovic, the men’s singles class 10 bronze medalist from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, who will defend his title from the previous year.

In total, 149 men and 57 women from 32 ITTF member associations, including 16 independent athletes, are set to compete in the men’s and women’s singles events at the 2024 ITTF Montenegro Para Open.

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