The Finnish table hockey season comes to the end at the international Turku Open. This year the tournament has international flavor with players like Swedish Oscar Henriksson who won the bronze medal in last summer's World Championships. The biggest news is however a local star as two-time world champion Roni Nuttunen returns to play his first international tournament in six years.
Comeback to spotlight
Nuttunen dominated the table hockey scene during the 2000s, winning the world championship twice in a row in 2007 and 2009. After a bitter loss in the 2011 world championship final in Turku, the young champion decided to leave the game. In December 2015 he returned in Finnish tournaments but the idea for an international comeback started to brew in his mind during the summer of 2017. This season Roni has played only one Finnish ranking tournament before Turku Open. Even though he hasn't played a lot this season, he'll be joining the Finnish national team in Eskilstuna's European championships with a wild card from ITHF. ECh is a milestone on Roni's dream of playing in Minsk's WCh in summer 2019.
You can read Roni's thoughts on Turku Open and his return to the game on an interview with Yanis Galuzo https://click-or-die.ru/2017/04/roni-nuttunen-my-dream-is-to-play-at-the-world-championship-in-minsk/.
Players from five countries
So far Turku Open has 53 registered players from five different European countries. In addition to Finnish and Swedish players, Turku Open will have competitors from Great Britain, Russia and Estonia. The beautiful venue at Marina Palace is the pinnacle of both national and international season before the European championships. For Finnish players, Turku Open will be the last opportunity to play for a spot in the Finnish national team. For international players, the tournament is the last tournament to get points for the 2017-18 World Tour of which the best players will receive extra spots for ECh. The reigning champion of Turku Open, Kevin Eriksson, has an opportunity to grab that extra spot by winning Turku Open.