10 Sep 2016

Silver medallist in Class 8-10 earlier in the year in Romania, Josephine Medina of the Philippines was very much the player to catch the eye, as matters progressed in the group stage of the Women’s Singles Class 8 event at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on the late afternoon and early evening of Friday 9th September.

Playing in a controlled manner, taking no risks, she recovered from a two games to one deficit to beat Norway’s Aida Dahlen, the reigning European champion (11-5, 3-11, 7-11, 11-2, 11-8).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The win meant that she secured second place in the group; for Aida Dahlen it was the end of adventures.

Opening day

On the opening day of play, Jan Medina had experienced a straight games defeat at the hands of China’s Mao Jingdian, the no.2 seed (11-3, 11-4, 11-6); later in the day, Aida Dhalen had suffered by a similar margin (11-4, 11-5, 11-6).

Notably the success recorded by Jan Medina was a repeat of London four years ago; in the ExceL Exhibition Centre they had met at the same phase; on that occasion Jan Medina had won in four games (13-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-5).

Eventually, the now 46 year old from Marikina City had progressed to compete in the bronze medal match where she had been beaten for Sweden’s Josefin Abrahamsson (11-9, 12-10, 13-11).

Long time ago

“Four years ago is long time, a great deal can change in that time, the fact that I had beaten Aida in London had no relevance on today’s match”, said Jan Medina. “I won today with the help of God; there is phrase that says nothing is impossible for God.”

Throughout the contest Josephine Medina remained safe and secure against a player who has arguably improved since London 2012. The win recorded by Aida Dahlen in the final of Women’s Class 8, in opposition to Germany’s Julianne Wolf, at the European Para Championships in Vejle, Denmark, was a memorable contest (11-7, 7-11, 6-11, 13-11, 11-9).

Seized opportunities

In Rio de Janeiro, there was to no such repeat, it was Josephine Medina who seized the opportunities.

“She is from Europe, she has more opportunities than me, I am from the third world”, stressed Josephine Medina. “I have less support, she has many advantages.”

Nevertheless, Josephine Medina made the most of her abilities.

“Today I think my tactics were good, I was patient and I was focused; I was able to recover after losing the third game”, added Josephine Medina. “Earlier in my first match, Mao Jingdian was so strong and so consistent with her attacking play from both forehand and backhand; I think she has really improved since London.”

Semi-finals

A place in the semi-finals secured; in Women’s Singles Class 8 there are two groups.

“I hope that with the help of God I can win a medal”, concluded Josephine Medina.

In the penultimate round, Josephine Medina meets Thu Kankasomphu, Mao Jingdian faces Julianne Wolf.

 

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Paralympics Aida Dahlen Josephine Medina