China's Mao Jingdian will be among the athletes looking to continue their good form at the 2018 ITTF Para World Championships in Lasko-Celje in Slovenia ©Getty Images

The 2018 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Para World Championships are set to begin tomorrow with 325 athletes ready to go for 21 singles titles in Lasko-Celje in Slovenia.

The four-day competition features many athletes coming off victories from the Asian Para Games in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, where action concluded on Saturday (October 13). 

Among the freshly-crowned winners are Mao Jingdian and Feng Pangfeng, who lead a 31-strong Chinese delegation in the women's class eight and men’s class three, respectively.

Mao is the reigning Paralympic, world and Asian champion and the 23-year-old's latest win in Indonesia suggests she is in form for another gold.

Feng is the undisputed ruler in his class, but reining European champion Thomas Schmiedberger of Germany will hope to pass his rival after coming up short in the Rio 2016 Paralympic and 2014 World Championship finals.

Another rivalry to watch is between Spain's Álvaro Valera and Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier in the men's class six.

The two have had their share of Paralympic, world and European titles, but the Spaniard has enjoyed recent success, including winning European gold in 2017.

Although Rio 2016 champion Rosenmeier did not medal then, he is aiming to bounce back from that disappointment.

Serbia's Borislava Perić-Ranković is the women to watch in the class four.

She only has one title missing in her career and she can achieve that in Lasko-Celje.

The 46-year-old won two golds, singles and doubles, at last year's European Championships.

Another 46-year-old, Sweden's Anna-Carin Ahlquist, remains the queen of the class three.

The six-time European champion and London 2012 Paralympic winner is also without a world title.

She took bronze from 2014 but is targeting a better medal in Slovenia.

Great Britain's 14-strong squad includes Paralympic champion Will Bayley ©Ziga Zupan/Sportida
Great Britain's 14-strong squad includes Paralympic champion Will Bayley ©Ziga Zupan/Sportida

The story is a bit different for Belgian 18-year-old Laurens Devos, who is already a Paralympic and European champion and can add world gold in the men's class nine.

The Netherlands' Kelly van Zon has not tasted a major triumph since Rio 2016.

The women's world number one class seven player lost to Turkey's Kübra Öçsoy Korkut in last year's European Championship semi-finals.

With Korkut having a strong season, a thrilling match-up is expected.

Also craving gold is France's Fabien Lamirault, the multi-Paralympic, world and European champion.

He failed to defend his European singles crown in the men's class two but should not be counted out of a finals appearance.

Poland's Olympian and Paralympian Natalia Partyka has spent most of her season competing in able-bodied competitions, so the ITTF Para World Championships will be her first Para-table tennis event of 2018.

Her last Para-competition was last year's regional Championships, where she won the class nine singles title to remain world number one.

Ukraine's Viktor Didukh, a former able-bodied player before his cancer diagnosis in 2008, owns the latest Paralympic, world and European crowns, and will be tough to get past in the men’s class eight.

Great Britain's 14-strong squad includes two Paralympic champions in Will Bayley and Rob Davies, as well as Commonwealth champion Ross Wilson and nine other athletes who have already medalled at world, Paralympic or European level.

Gorazd Vecko, British Para Table Tennis' team performance director, believes that the squad is fully prepared and ready for the challenge of the World Championships.

"For the first time, I don’t feel that the athletes are really nervous before a major championship," he said.

"In 2014, a week before we went to China for the last World Championships, everything was wrong and they were struggling, but this time they are more mature and understand what they need to do and how to be the best prepared."

The 2018 ITTF Para World Championships are due to run until Saturday (October 20).