With ambition to include persons with disabilities in its activities, EUSA has also introduced para sports since 2016 as part of the European Universities Games program. In Zagreb and Rijeka, students competed in table tennis and swimming, while the table tennis competition was held two years later at the fourth EUG 2018 in Coimbra, Portugal.
Para table tennis, along with Para Judo, which will have its premiere in Belgrade this summer, will be a chance for students with disabilities to attend the 5th European Universities Games that is going to be held from July 12 until 25.
The European Universities Champions in Para Table Tennis became Danijel Lazov (class 1-4) and Andjela Muzinic (class 3-5) from University of Zagreb (CRO); Elias Debeyssac (class 6-8) from Bordeaux University; and Denislav Kodjabashev (class 9-10) from National Sports Academy Vasil Levski (BUL) who was the best in his category.
Champions from Coimbra are Pedrona Guillaume (Lycee Dumont d’Urville) and Elias Debeyssac from University of Bordeaux, who defended his title from Zagreb – Rijeka event.
ROLE MODEL BORISLAVA PERIC RANKOVIC
The most successful Serbian Paralympian of all time comes from para table tennis – Borislava Peric-Rankovic, who is reigning of European, World and Olympic champion.
The 47-years old Borislava, who lives and practice in Novi Sad, was elected for the best para-athlete in Serbia and world’s para table tennis player in 2015, while a year later carried the national flag at the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Rio, where she won the gold medal.
Seven consecutive gold medals at the European Championships since 2007 is the best way to describe sports qualities of a woman who began actively pursuing table tennis in 2002, eight years after an accident at workplace that left her in a wheelchair. Borislava won a total of 24 medals at the European, World Championships and Para Olympic Games, where she made her Beijing debut in 2008.
At the last European Championship in 2019, Borislava Peric Rankovic defeated Nada Matic by 3: 2 in the “Serbian Final”.
Para table tennis became part of the Paralympic family at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. It is played in more than 100 countries on all continents. It is played on three sets won. Competitors are divided into classes according to their type of disability.
At the 5th European Universities Games, the para table tennis competition is scheduled for July 12 until July 17, 2020.