12 Sep 2016

Massed ranks of Danish supporters stood in unison; in fact some danced for joy as Peter Rosenmeier beat Spain’s Alvaro Valera, to secure the Men’s Singles Class 6 title at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on the evening of Sunday 11th September.

He recovered from a two games to one deficit to record a five games win (5-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Quite incredible support but were there some devious manoeuvres behind the scenes that were responsible for the adulation?

“The support was amazing, quite incredible; the atmosphere was fantastic”, said Peter Rosenmeier. “Actually the Danish supporters told me that they had a plan; they would cheer for the Brazilians; then the Brazilians would cheer for our players!”

Seems as they say the plan came together!

Mentally under

“I don’t think it was the best of finals, I was always behind, always having to recover, always mentally under; that was until the fifth game”, explained Peter Rosenmeier. “I think the top spin I played to go ahead 3-1 rather shook him mentally.”

It was at that stage Alvaro Valera called “Time Out”. However, the break worked in favour of Peter Rosenmeier; he won the next two points and led 3-2 at the change of ends. The Dane reduced the deficit to one point at 6-5 but never gained parity.

Familiar adversary

“It was a case of fight for every point; we know each other so well, we have played so many times; I find a hole in his game and then next time he’s blocked the hole”, continued Peter Rosenmeier. “Playing Alvaro is like playing chess, always trying to find solutions.”

Success for Peter Rosenmeier means that he avenges the defeat he suffered in the European final on home soil in Vejle last October and he secures the Paralympic Games Men’s Singles Class 6 title for the second time in his career. He won in Beijing in 2008.

Celebration

“In 2008 I achieved the goal I had set myself after many years of playing table tennis”, concluded Peter Rosenmeier. “I think today I’m going to enjoy the win more than in Athens; tonight I’m going to celebrate!”

 Third title

A second gold for Peter Rosenmeier, in the immediately ensuing Women’s Class 1-2 final it was a third for China’s Liu Jing and a third in a row; previously she had won in Beijing and London.

She accounted for Korea’s Seo Suyeon in the title deciding match (11-6, 9-11, 12-10, 19-17). Gold for China, it was bronze for Italy.

Giada Rossi overcame Thailand’s Chilchitparyak Bootwansirina (12-10, 11-0, 11-9) to add her name to the roll of honour.

Youngest Men’s Singles winner

Gold for the experienced Liu Jing in her third Paralympic Games; in the following match it was gold for Belgium’s Laurens Devos at the first attempt and without causing his supporters concern. 

Impressively, the 16 year old beat Gerban Last of the Netherlands in three straight games (11-8, 11-7, 11-4) capture the Men’s Singles Class 9 title and become surely the youngest Paralympic Table Tennis Men’s Singles gold medallist of all time. The youngest overall; that distinction still belongs to Poland’s Natalia Partyka, she was 15 years and two months when she won Women’s Singles Class 10 in Athens in 2004.

Laurens Devos is 16 years and one month.

Stressed

“I felt stressed  before the match but then after I won the first game I was much less stressed”, said Laurens Devos. “I didn’t have any great expectations before the match; mentally I felt good today, I think that was the most important part but also I was able to handle his serves and take the initiative.”

Meanwhile, in the bronze medal match it was success for Italy’s Mohamed Amine Kalem; he overcame Spain’s Juan Bautista Perez Gonzalez to secure the third step of the podium (11-7, 11-8, 11-6).

Paralympics Laurens Devos Peter Rosenmeier Liu Jing