A Global Gathering in Finland: ITTF Para Finland Open 2023 Highlights


The recently concluded ITTF Para Finland Open in Pajulahti brought some shocking surprises from unexpected corners of the world. Lucas Arabian from Brazil and Spain’s Eduardo Cuesta took everyone by surprise by clinching the men’s singles titles, while Denisa Macurova from the Czech Republic was the gold medalist in the women’s singles. What’s intriguing? None of these winners were seeded!

Unpredictable Outcomes: A Closer Look

  • Men’s Singles: Eduardo Cuesta shook the arena with his electrifying performance. He conquered Belgium’s Florian van Acker in the semi-finals and, in a twist of fate, turned his earlier defeat to Poland’s Maciej Makajew into a championship-winning triumph.
  • Lucas Arabian’s Resilience: Facing adversaries like Japan’s Toru Nakamoto and France’s Nicolas Savant-Aira, Arabian displayed exceptional resilience, turning the tables and securing his title.
  • Women’s Singles Shocker: Denisa Macurova’s journey is worth noting. Competing in the group all-play-all class 11 event, she emerged as a dark horse, leading ahead of many top seeds, and showcasing an unparalleled spirit.

Gold Medalist Insights

PlayerCategoryCountrySpecial Mention
Jiri SuchanekMen’s Singles Class 2Czech RepublicSurprised all by defeating Serbia’s Boris Stoiljkovic
Jana SpegalWomen’s Singles Class 1GermanyUnbeaten, she overshadowed the top seed Ain Topola
Natalia PartykaWomen’s Singles Class 9-10PolandClinched two titles, a testament to her formidable skills

A Series of Expected Triumphs

While upsets were the flavor of the tournament, several favorites lived up to their reputation. A clear testament was seen in the men’s singles wheelchair events where Korea Republic’s Kim Hakjin, Frenchman Florian Merrien, and the Czech Republic’s Filip Nachazel maintained their gold standard.

Sweden also showcased its talent, with gold medals from Michael Azulay and Emil Andersson. Brazil, Belgium, and France added to the tally with Paulo Fonseca, Laurens Devos, and Mateo Boheas bagging golds in their respective categories.

Germany, known for its consistency, did not disappoint. Sandra Mikolaschek and Stephanie Grebe clinched golds, enhancing their nation’s pride.


Swelling Medal Tally

With the singles events setting the stage, doubles events were no less exhilarating:

  • Men’s Doubles: Florian Merrien of France, and Laurens Devos of Belgium, joined forces with their compatriots to add more golds to their collection. Similarly, Lucas Arabian concluded his journey by winning the mixed doubles class 10 alongside Joyce Oliveira.
  • Mixed Doubles Glory: France’s flair continued with Flora Vautier pairing with Great Britain’s Megan Shackleton. Belgium and Poland continued their triumphant march, showcasing their prowess in the doubles events.
  • Hosts Shine Too: Despite the dominance of foreign players, the Finnish spirit was well alive. Aino Tapola, representing the home country, partnered with Spain’s Miguel Toledo to seize the mixed doubles class 4 gold.

Eyes on the Next Challenge

With the Finland Open wrapped up, players and enthusiasts are now setting their eyes on Argentina. The upcoming three-day Copa Tango promises to be another exciting affair, commencing on Friday, 6th October.

Final Words

The ITTF Para Finland Open was not just a tournament; it was a testament to human spirit, resilience, and the unexpected twists that make sports so exhilarating. From long journeys to the podium finishes, this event proved that predictions might waver, but passion remains constant. As we eagerly await the next big clash in Argentina, the memories from Finland will remain fresh for a long time.

Tennis Expert Andrew Huggard
reviewed by: Andrew Huggard (Tennis Expert)

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