European Teqball Tour 2022 set for grand opening in Lisbon
The first European Teqball Tour event of 2022 will get underway in style in Lisbon, Portugal this week (25-27 February), with world-leading athletes from over 20 countries set to take part in the indoor doubles and mixed doubles event.
FITEQ General Secretary Marius Vizer Jr addressed media today (23 February) ahead of the opening day’s action on Friday. Vizer Jr spoke of the importance of building on the success of last year’s major events, saying: “The organisation of sports events has been very challenging for the past two years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, across a wide range of sports, including teqball, we have seen resilience from organisers and outstanding displays of talent and entertainment from athletes.
“The successful launch of the European Teqball Tour towards the end of last year, followed by the unforgettable 2021 Teqball World Championships, have given us the confidence to expand our competition calendar this year and look to reach greater heights. The European Teqball Tour 2022 opener in Lisbon and the Paris World Series event next month will signal our ambition to reimagine our event delivery, whilst creating an environment, particularly through the distribution of record prize money, whereby teqers can compete professionally year-round."
Karoly Henczi, the Portuguese Teqball Federation President, also addressed media noting how “Portugal hosting the first European Tour event of 2022 was a sign of the ambition of the National Federation, and a reflection of the rapid development of teqball in the country in recent years.”
João Pedro Monteiro, Director of the Sports Department of the Lisbon City Council, added “Lisbon has a long history of hosting major sports events and the city is always looking at exciting new opportunities. The growth of teqball in Europe and globally in the past few years is something we have followed with great interest and we are delighted to welcome the world’s best teqball players to our city for this important event.”
Rui Leitão, who is a member of FITEQ Executive Board as an athlete representative, was also in attendance and wished athletes the best of luck for the competitions over the coming days.
The European Teqball Tour event will feature 118 athletes, including the world’s highest ranked men’s doubles and mixed doubles players. There will be 20 athletes from host country Portugal, who will be looking to entertain local supporters with upsets over leading teqball countries such as Hungary, France, Brazil and Romania.
Men’s doubles number one and two Csaba Banyik and Adam Blazsovics will be looking to bounce back from the disappointment at the USA Teqball Tour opener last month. However, they will have to overcome the champions in San Diego, Hugo Rabeux and Julien Grondin, who moved up to joint ninth in the latest FITEQ World Ranking. The draw also includes the Romanian pairing of Szabolcs Ilyes and Apor Gyorgydeak, who were silver medallists at last year’s World Championships and are ranked fourth and seventh respectively.
The mixed doubles category in Lisbon features 2021 world champions and joint number one ranked duo of Banyik and Zsanett Janicsek. However, their compatriots Blazsovics and Lea Vasas, both ranked in the top 20, as well as Serbia’s Nikola Mitro and Maja Umicevic (ranked joint fifth), will be looking to make life difficult for the world’s best mixed doubles team.