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Watch the WebTV matches afterwards
21.01.2014

Familiar faces on the top of the podium in showdown
19.01.2014

Beating Czech Republic in goalball is still mission impossible for the Finns
19.01.2014

Stonewall defence won the title for USA women’s goalball team
19.01.2014

Finland got two sets from European Champions in sitting volleyball final
19.01.2014

If you missed Saturdays WebTV matches…
18.01.2014

Lots of Finns in showdown semifinals
18.01.2014

Underdogs on fire in goalball semis
18.01.2014

Jani Tissari would like to crown his athletics career with a gold medal
18.01.2014

 
 

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Familiar faces on the top of the podium in showdown
19.01.2014

Photo: Hanna Vilmi
 
Photo: Hanna Vilmi

There were familiar names on the top of the Pajulahti Games showdown rankings after the tournament. Juha Oikarainen won his third consecutive title in Pajulahti. Hanna Vilmi has won each of the four Pajulahti Games showdown tournaments.

Both of the winners needed all five sets to claim the title though. European Champion Vilmi beat World Champion Jaana Pesari in a very even final. Oikarainen lost the first two sets against the World number one Leander Sachs but rose to a victory.

“Excitement always cost me the title. I tried to give myself some calming advices during the match”, said Vilmi.

“I never give up. I just hold my stick more firmly after the first two sets so that Leander’s shots wouldn’t bounce off the table from it”, told Oikarainen.

 

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Lots of Finns in showdown semifinals
18.01.2014

Photo: Juha Oikarainen
 
Photo: Juha Oikarainen

No big surprises in men’s showdown in the Pajulahti Games. The Finns Juha Oikarainen and Ari Lahtinen made their way to Sunday morning semifinals as well as World number on Dutchman Leander Sachs and Polish Adrian Sloninka. Each of these players have suffered at least one defeat in the tournament though.

In women’s competition there’s a chance that the hosts take all the medals. Hanna Vilmi, Jaana Pesari and Heidi Torn are all in semifinals. World Champion Pesari will meet European Champion Vilmi in a Sunday morning thriller. The other semifinal is between Torn and Elzbieta Mielczarek from Poland.

 

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Mielczarek experienced her first defeat in the showdown tournament
18.01.2014

Photo: Elzbieta Mielczarek
 
Photo: Elzbieta Mielczarek

Two unbeaten players met in the Saturday’s first women’s showdown match between Elzbieta Mielczarek from Poland and Hanna Vilmi from Finland. Vilmi continued her unbeaten run with 2–0 (11–7, 11–8) win.

“Maybe she has trained better”, said Mielczarek when asked what was the reason for Vilmi’s victory.

Mielczarek is currently number two in women’s World ranking after Finnish Jaana Pesari which makes her also the number one Polish player. She says there are approximately 50–60 showdown players in Poland.

This is her second time in Pajulahti Games.

“It has been super and I’m satisfied with the way I’ve been playing, Mielczarek said.

 

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Giese found the receipt for winning in showdown tournament
17.01.2014

Thomas Giese’s first match ever in the Pajulahti Games showdown tournament wasn’t an easy start. World ranking number one Leander Sachs beat him in two straight sets 2–0 (11–5, 12–2).

After that things got better: First he won Imants Elstins from Latvia 2–0 (12–9, 12–0) and then Lukasz Byczkowski from Poland after a tight match 2–1 (12–15, 13–11, 11–7).

“It feels really good”, he said after the match against Byczkowski.

“I have enjoyed my time here in Pajulahti. Though it’s really cold,” he laughs.

Giese is a 48-year-old German and he has practiced showdown for four years and trains one or two times a week.

 

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Pesari climbed from the edge of the cliff against van der Boom
17.01.2014

Photo: Jaana Pesari
 
Photo: Jaana Pesari


Jaana Pesari won the first showdown match in the Pajulahti Games against Dutch Helma van der Boom 2–1 (9–12, 14–11, 13–11). Pesari fought hard for a win although she lost the first set and was one point from losing the second when the game was 6–10.

“I made some easy mistakes and made the game difficult for myself. It gave me faith when I managed to take the second set”, Pesari said.

Pesari won the World Championships in 2013 but van der Boom challenged her strongly and was close of winning.

“When I was one point away from winning, referee judged a new serve when I thought I should have won a point. It was a lottery which I lost”, van der Boom said.

She was still quite satisfied that she managed to challenge Pesari whom she had won just once before in her career.

 

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Finnish players challenge Sachs in showdown tournament
16.01.2014

Dutchman Leander Sachs lost the World Championship final in showdown last summer but he is number one in the latest showdown world ranking. That makes him also the strongest favorite in the Pajulahti Games showdown tournament. Finnish players Juha Oikarainen (5th in the world ranking) and Ari Lahtinen (7th) might give Sachs a tough time in their home soil, though.

Jaana Pesari from Finland won the World Championships in Slovenia 2013 and she is also one of the favorites in the Pajulahti Games. Her compatriot Hanna Vilmi, the European Champion from 2012, has been stronger in their latest matches and is also defending her title from the Pajulahti Games 2013. Elzbieta Mielczarek from Poland and Antje Samoray from Germany have been in good form lately as well.


 

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