David Alonso en route the Men's Singles Class 8 semi-finals
A determined display, wearing his heart on his sleeve, David Alonso kept the Spanish flag flying high at the Mike Dempsey Memorial Para Table Tennis Tournament in San Diego on Thursday 29th November 2012, the first day of action in the three day event.
At the quarter-final stage on the Men’s Singles Class 8 event, he beat the host nation’s Chui Lim Ming in four games (12-10, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5) to book his place in the penultimate round.
He is one of two Spanish players present at the tournament, the other is Alvero Valera competing in Men’s Singles Class 6; likewise he is through to the penultimate round but he had to overcome a testing first match hurdle to secure his semi-final round place.
Extended Full Distance
Silver medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in Men’s Singles Class 6 and in Men’s Team Class 6-8; he was extended the full five games distance by 17 year old Ari Arratia (11-9, 6-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7) from nearby Los Angeles.
A close first excursion; his second visit to the table was more comfortable, he beat Mexico’s Victor Reyes in three straight games (11-7, 11-4, 11-7). Two groups in the Men’s Singles Class 6 competition meant that Alvero Valera duly booked a semi-final berth.
However, with three groups in the first stage of proceedings in Men’s Singles Class 8 and with David Alonso in the third of those groups, it meant the winner proceeded to the quarter-finals.
David Alonso duly progressed to the quarter-finals and he progressed with much greater ease through the group stage than was experienced by his compatriot, Alvaro Valera.
He recorded a brace of straight games victories; he accounted for Kenya’s Edwin Muruah Mwangi (11-3, 11-6, 11-8) and Wayne Lo of the United States (11-6, 11-2, 14-12).
“I didn’t know Edwin Muruah Mwangi, he was totally new to me”, said David Alonso. “I felt safe and secure against him.”
A fine start for the young man from Bilbao, who also excels at swimming and has a host of medals in that discipline and it was an even finer finish to his first phase programme.
Two Previous Meetings
“I had played Wayne twice before”, explained David Alonso. “In 2007 I played him in Jordan and won three-two; then in 2009 in Mar del Plata in Argentina we played and I lost three-nil!”
In San Diego, he totally reversed the result of three years earlier.
Long Pimpled Rubber
“Wayne is an experienced player, I think we are about of the same level”, said David Alonso. “He plays with long pimples on the backhand, I think I have improved since we played last time and today I was able to change the amount of top spin on the ball.”
It was a more mature player than in 2009; he coped with the combination racket of his adversary and then proved it was no one-off success.
“Chui Lim Ming played with short pimples on the forehand and long pimples on the backhand; when he blocked with the long pimples the ball went down very quickly”, added David Alonso.
Also, on occasions, Chui Lim Ming would retreat from the table and return with backspin.
“From the backhand I tried to create angles and then move round to play a forehand top spin”, concluded David Alonso. “Playing the forehand I tried to play with heavy top spin.”
He played with heavy top spin and also he played with great heart; that’s David Alonso, total commitment and on the opening day in San Diego he completed a day of unblemished success for Spain.
Two players on duty, two into the semi-finals; in the splendid Town and Country Club, for David Alonso, it was a very successful day, everything went swimmingly.
Download Complete Results of Singles Events
Mike Dempsey Memorial Tournament: Complete Results of Singles Events