The 2018 World Para Table Tennis Championship in Celje is already over for the Slovenian national team. None of the home trio (Barbara Meglič, Primož Kancler and Luka Trtnik) managed to qualify for the second stage of the competition from their groups as none managed to win a single match.
They have played nine duels among them, three each in their respective groups. They were close to success a few times, most of all Kancler who lost one of his matches by 2-3, but a win escaped them all. They were not extremely disappointed, though, since they realized they are probably still a step behind the world’s top players – all three received special invitations allowing them to participate rather than qualifying.
“The results look bad, but I am here and that is a big step in my career. I have lost three matches, but have gained experience not many people have. But this is not the end of my jurney. SPINT 2018 will be a milestone and a breaking point, I have learnt a lot and I can see I have a long way to go, which I will be happy to take on,” Trtnik summarized his performances and added that he will be closely following the rest of the tournament and cheering for one of the sport’s stars Will Bayley. Trtnik was also the only Slovenian with at least theoretical chances to proceed to the knock-out stage today, but all hopes were crushed after his defeat against the Croat Pava Jozić by 1-3. He later also lost to Jean-Paul Montanus by 3-0.
Barbara Meglič also played her last group match today after the two on the first day of the competition. The two loses there allowed for no hope of the next round, but she was aiming to showcase her very best. She had to finish the competition with another defeat, this time against the Serbian Nada Matic by 3-0.
“I expected to be closer than I was. I was unable to force her into the game I show at trainings, so the points were over very quickly. I have quite some work ahead of me, at trainings and at competitions, if I ever wast to really compete with the best in the world. My best match was against the Turkish player, where I was quite satisfied with my game,” Meglič sees her world championship.
“To be completely objective, my last match really was bad. It seems I was still dwelling on the defeat from yesterday, I had no willpower. I don’t know … Overall, I played the first two duels well, but that second loss really got to me, which prevented me from doing well at the third match. Now we see where we are compared to the world’s elite and what we have to do is practice, practice, practice,” Primož Kancler said after also ending SPINT 2018 with three defeats. He was really close to winning in his second Wednesday match, while the Ukrainian Vasili Petruniv was too strong yesterday by 3-0.
The competition will continue today and tomorrow with the knock-out rounds, into which the best two players from each group have qualified.