Worthwhile visit to Kefalonia

Three days of action at the ITTF Greece Para Open in Kefalonia, with play concluding on Sunday 30 April, was a rewarding experience for the Australian trio comprising of Trevor Hirth, Nathan Pellissier and Lennard Properjohn.

There was no gold, but all added to their medal collection.

Top of the list, competing in men’s doubles class 14, an all-play-all event, Trevor Hirth and Nathan Pellisier emerged silver medallists.

They accounted for Kazakhstan’s Ogor Khudyakov and Dastan Kuanyshev (11-3, 11-4, 11-3) in their opening contest; later following with success against the host nation pairing of Marios Chatzikyriakos and Georgios Mouchthis (7-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-3, 11-8).

A difficult hurdle to overcome, they beat Portugal’s Mario Bastardo and Eurico Silva (11-7, 11-4, 11-9), prior to losing to Great Britain’s Aaron McKibbin and Martin Perry (11-7, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8).

In the mixed doubles for both players it was bronze, with Trevor Hirth partnering Romania’s Camelia Ciripan, and Nathan Pellissier allied with Lucie Hautière from France.

Competing in class 14, in the group stage, Trevor Hirth and Camelia Ciripan lost to the combination of Belgium’s Ben Despineux and the host nation’s Maria Kaipi (11-8, 11-6, 11-8).

Soon after, they recovered to overcome Great Britain’s Ryan Henry and the Eirini Drakonaki from Greece (11-5, 11-2, 9-11, 11-7) to book a semi-final place against Ukraine’s Viktor Didukh and Maryna Lytovchenko (11-4, 11-9, 11-7).

Defeat in the penultimate round against the eventual winners, it was the same in class 17 for Nathan Pellissier and Lucie Hautière.

Second place in the group phase was the initial outcome. They lost to Ukraine’s Maksym Nikolenko and Iryna Shymkarova (11-6, 13-15, 11-9, 11-7), but overcame the duo comprising Portugal’s Eurico Silva and Kazakhstan’s Kamilla Issayeva (11-6, 9-11, 11-3, 11-5), followed by success in opposition to Artyom Vaiman and Balziya Tash (13-11, 11-2, 11-4).

A penultimate round place reserved, they were beaten by Poland’s Piotr Grudzien and Karolina Pek (11-8, 11-2, 11-8).

With Bronze on the concluding day of play for the tournament, on the second day, that had been the colour for Lennard Properjohn.

On duty in men’s singles class 6, in his first stage group, he lost to top seed, Martin Perry (11-4, 11-4, 11-5) but beat Mario Bastardo (13-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9); the result – a quarter-final place.

Maintaining form, he accounted for Georgios Mouchthis (6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6), before in the penultimate round losing to Frenchman, Esteban Herrault (11-7, 11-5, 11-7), the eventual runner up and winner earlier in the year in Egypt.

For Trevor Hirth and Nathan Pellissier, it was farewell one round earlier, with a semi-final men’s singles finish.

Also, competing in men’s singles class 6; Trevor Hirth finished in first position in his group. He accounted for Georgios Mouchthis 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-7) and Dastan Kuanyshev (11-3, 11-4, 11-3), prior to experiencing a last eight defeat when facing, Marios Chatzikyriakos (12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6), the champion elect.

Somewhat differently, in men’s class 8; for Nathan Pellissier it was second place in the group. He beat Portugal’s Roberto Martinelli (11-9, 11-6, 11-7) and Kazakhstan’s Artyom Vaiman (11-2, 11-5, 11-7) but experienced defeat when facing Belgium’s Ben Despineux (11-4, 11-9, 11-5).

Safely through to the main draw, he overcame Austria’s Christian Scheiber (11-8, 11-7, 11-8) to reserve his quarter-final place where Poland’s Piotr Grudzien – the no.2 seed and eventual runner up – halted adventures (10-12, 11-1, 11-7, 15-13).

Overall, the Aussies took five medals away from the weekend – an impressive haul.


Article adapted from the ITTF-Oceania website.