Russian Duo Secure Inaugural ITTF Euro Africa Circuit Titles

Lausanne-Switzerland, May 21, 2012: Russia’s Vasily LAKEEV and Polina MIKHAILOVA won the respective Men’s and Women’s Singles titles at the Belarus Open in Minsk on Sunday 20th May 2012, the first ever tournament to be staged on the newly inaugurated ITTF Euro Africa Circuit.

Vasily LAKEEV, the no.5 seed, overcame compatriot Mikhail PAYKOV, the no.2 seed, in the Men’s Singles final; whilst at the same stage in the Women’s Singles event, Polina MIKAILOVA, the no.1 seed, defeated the host nation’s Aleksandra PRIVALOVA, the no.2 seed.

At no stage was Polina MIKHAILOVA extended the full seven games distance and most certainly the victory margin posted in opposition to Aleksandra PRIVALOVA was impressive.

She is a player in form. In Luxembourg at the recent European Olympic Qualification Tournament she emerged successful and will be on duty for Belarus in London at the forthcoming Olympic Games.

Meanwhile for Vasily LAKEEV the most testing time came in the semi-finals against Japan’s Mizuki OIKAWA, a player with no current World ranking. Vasily LAKEEV lost the first two games before recovering to post a seven games success.

A close semi-final success for Vasily LAKEEV but at the same stage, for Mikhail PAYKOV, life had been more comfortable. He beat Poland’s Filip SZYMANSKI the no.6 seed, in five games.

Men’s Singles

SF: Vasily LAKEEV (RUS) bt Mizuki OIKAWA (JPN) 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6

SF: Mikhail PAYKOV (RUS) bt Filip SZYMANSKI (POL) 11-3, 11-9, 11-13, 12-10, 11-7

F: Vitali LAKEEV (RUS) bt Mikhail PAYKOV (RUS) 9-11, 11-1, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7

Women’s Singles

SF: Polina MIKHAILOVA (RUS) bt Elaterina GUSEVA (RUS) 9-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6

SF: Aleksandra PRIVALOVA (BLR) bt Ievgeniia VASYLIEVA (UKR) 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-3

F: Polina MIKHAILOVA (RUS) bt Aleksandra PRIVALOVA (BLR) 11-5, 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 11-2. PHOTO: Courtesy of Alexandre Petkevitch

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