Pavel Platonov, the men’s singles winner (Photo: courtesy of Ina Jozepine)
by Ina Jozepsone (Tournament Referee)
Staged from Thursday to 19th to Sunday 22nd October; Kaliningrad, located in the Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea, hosted the Amber Racket tournament. First organised in 2012 the event is proving increasingly popular, not just attracting entries from the immediate area but from farther afield.
An impressive 209 players from 13 countries representing over 25 cities participated in this year’s competition; in addition to men’s singles and women’s singles events, there were competitions in the under 14 years, under 17 years and over 40 years age groups.
Not only has the tournament grown in number, it has grown in stature; notably in 2016 Russia’s Vasiliy Lakeev won the Men’s Singles title beating the Czech Republic’s Dmitry Prokoptsov in the final.
Equally this year there were celebrated names in action; they included Pavel Platonov of Belarus who emerged the winner of the Men’s Singles event in addition to Sweden’s Jens Lundqvist and Ukraine’s Oleksandr Didukh as well as Russia’s Kirill Skachkov, Vyacheclav Burov and Maksim Shmyrev.
“I like the tournament very much. It is very well organised and provides a very high professional level of participants. Each year the number of participants from various countries grows. It’s nice that I have managed to win, defeating higher ranked rivals. It’s not my first time in Kaliningrad and I always enjoy it here!” Pavel Platonov
Furthermore, in the Men’s Singles Over 40 years event, a most celebrated name competed; also from Russia, Dmitrij Mazunov secured the top step of the podium.
“Each time it is my pleasure to come for the Amber Racket. The professional level of the tournament has been steadily rising, with new participating countries and rivals joining, it becomes increasingly difficult and prestigious to win. I am very glad that I managed to defeat Maxim Shmyryev in the 40 years final and win the main prize, the amber racket.” Dmitrij Mazunov
The VI International Table Tennis Tournament Amber Racket has been organized by the Kaliningrad Regional Table Tennis Federation and the company Spar – Kaliningrad.
Roll of Honour (Senior Events)
Men’s Singles: 1. Pavel Platonov (Belarus) 2. Vyacheclav Burov (Russia) 3. Oleksandr Didukh (Ukraine) 4. Maxim Shmyrev (Russia)
Men’s Singles – Over 40 Years: 1. Dmitriy Mazunov (Germany/Russia) 2. Maxim Shmyrev (Russia) 3. Denis Gavrilov (Russia) 4. Gintautas Juhna (Lithuania)
Men’s Doubles – Over 40 Years: 1. Denis Gavrilov / Sergey Savelyev (Russia) 2. Georgy Rubinstein / Alexandr Savelyev (Russia) 3. Leonid Ivanov / Mikhail Homutov (Russia) 4. Lorestas Trumpauskas / Dmitry Abramenko (England / Israel)
Roll of Honour (Junior Events)
Boys’ Singles – Born 2003 or later: 1.Artem Navumenka (Belarus) 2.Aleksandr Gorochny (Russia) 3. Dmitry Kolesnikov (Russia) 4. Daniels Kogans (Latvia)
Girls’ Singles: Born 2003 or later: 1. Polina Pestrikova (Russia) 2.Elizaveta Gacko (Belarus) 3. Medeine Stankeviciute (Lithuania) 4. Darya Zuzina (Russia)
Boys’ Singles: Born 2000 or later: 1.Medardas Stankevicius (Lithuania) 2. Georgy Kunac (Belarus) 3. Dmitry Fedorov (Russia) 4. Yegor Chekel (Belarus)
Girls’ Singles: Born 2000 or later: 1. Margarita Baltushite (Belarus) 2. Olesya Molodcova (Russia) 3. Anna Gavrilova (Russia) 4. Vikto Ananyeva (Russia)