The national championships in the European countries are on the way. Spanish table tennis fans already know their 2023 champions.
The 35-year-old Marc Duran repeated his 2022 success and won the singles event in Jaen. Since the leading Spanish player Alvaro Robles did not take part in this tournament, it evened the chances for other players and increased the intrigue. Plenty of players could have taken the title.
Duran is an experienced player. Prior to this tournament, he already had 11 national titles on his resume (8 in doubles, two in singles, and one, in a mixed doubles event). On the way to the final, Duran confidently got past Daniel Berzosa (4-1) in the 1/4 finals, and Alberto Lillo in the semi-final stage (4-2).
His opponent in the final, the 30-year-old Carlos Franco had a slightly more challenging path. In the 1/4 final, it took Franco seven sets to get past Juan Perez. In the semi-final, his opponent was the Spanish legend, the 42-year-old veteran Carlos Machado. He is an 11-time Spanish champion in singles. However, the experience did not help this time and Franco got a 4-2 lead.
The final did not turn out as a spectacle for the fans. Duran took a confident lead and gave away only one set to Franco. 4-1 and Duran got his third singles title! For Franco, a slight consolation was the doubles event where he managed to win the gold medal together with Miguel Angel Vilchez.
In the mixed doubles event, the 41-year-old penhold player Jesus Cantero added another gold medal to his collection. He repeated his 2022 success and together with Maria Xiao, they got a confident 3-1 win in the final against the young Universidad de Burgos players Daniel and Maria Berzosa.
2023 SPANISH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS MEDALISTS
Carlos Franco/Miguel Angel Vilchez
Rafael de las Heras/Angel Ayuso
Francisco Ruiz/Jose Guillot
Alvaro Gainza/Juan Perez
Jesus Cantero/Maria Xiao
Daniel Berzosa/Maria Berzosa
Miguel Pantoja/Eugenia Sastre
Carlos Caballero/Sofia-Xuan Zhang
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