The fourth competition day of the PPP World Championships started in Wels with very sad news: The oldest of the 286 participants, 84-year-old Italian Antonio Perrone, had died in the hotel on Friday night. On Tuesday and Wednesday, he had still taken part in the singles and doubles matches, before he could no longer compete in the singles consolation round on Thursday for health reasons. After a short speech by Nenad Bach, all participants on Friday commemorated their deceased sports comrade from Italy with a minute’s silence before the doubles matches began in a depressed mood.
In the course of the longest competition day, some of the favourites were eliminated early, while other players surprised positively. In the strongest tournament category, Silke Kind, Thorsten Flues (both GER) and Ilya Rozenblat (USA), three of the favourites, qualified for the semi-finals on the final day in all three competitions singles, doubles and mixed. Flues, who has yet to lose a match at the World Championships and again remained without dropping a game today, could repeat his triple triumph from Berlin 2021 on the final day. Rozenblat, on the other hand, still has the chance to defend the singles and mixed titles from Pula 2022. But Holger Teppe (GER), Hamid Ezzat-Ahmadi (USA), Elisabeth Ildal (DEN), Margie Alley (USA), Rie Koyama (JPN) and Jutta Ahmerkamp-Böhme (GER) were also convincing on Friday and will be in two of three possible semi-finals on Saturday.
In the lower categories, it is Marjan Vitanc (SLO), Gary Lee (ENG) and Hiromi Ando (JPN) who can still come to three title wins and with Mayumi Kanie (JPN), Andreas Moroff, Anke Leidenberger (both GER), Negin Schaller, Agnes Jan, Claudia Hellinger and Hermine Hofner (all AUT) as well as Pauline Jones (ENG) seven more active players who are represented in two semi-finals.