ITTF European Para Championships: Securing Paralympic Berths & Champion Victories

Securing Paralympic Berths: Champions Crowned at ITTF European Para Championships

The recently concluded International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) European Para Championships in Sheffield, England, witnessed the crowning of champions across 18 singles categories, with all finalists securing their places at the upcoming Paris 2024 Paralympics.

The event, held at the English Institute of Sport, saw fierce competition as athletes from across the continent vied for continental titles and the automatic qualification to next year’s Paralympic Games. Highlights included Hungary’s Endre Major, who booked his spot at a third Paralympic Games by clinching the class one title, and Poland’s Rafał Czuper, a two-time Paralympic silver medalist, who will be making his third Paralympic appearance after winning class two.

There were also notable victories for Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger in class three, Turkey’s Abdullah Öztürk in class four, and Germany’s Valentin Baus in class five, all of whom will be headed to Paris 2024 on the back of their European title triumphs.

The host nation, Great Britain, celebrated a home success as Will Bayley, a Paralympic gold medalist, won the men’s class seven title. Other champions included Italy’s Matteo Parenzan in class six, Ukraine’s Viktor Didukh in class eight, and Belgium’s Laurens Devos, the defending Paralympic champion, in class nine.

In the women’s events, Croatia’s Anđela Mužinić (class three), Serbia’s Borislava Perić (class four), and Ukraine’s Maryna Lytovchenko (class six) all secured their Paris 2024 spots with continental title wins. The class seven final saw a thrilling comeback from Turkey’s Kübra Korkut, a three-time Paralympic medalist, who came from two games down to defeat the Netherlands’ Kelly Van Zon.

The European Para Championships also featured men’s, women’s, and mixed doubles competitions, with the winners further strengthening their cases for Paralympic selection next year.

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