14 Sep 2016

Experience counts and arguably that was the factor which caused the host nation disappointment on the morning of Wednesday 14th at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The trio comprising Luis Guarnieri, Paulo Salmin and Israel Stroh experienced an agonising two matches to one defeat at the hands of Spain’s Alvaro Valera and Jordi Morales in an Ibero American contest.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Impressively, earlier in the week, Israel Stroh won silver in Men’s Singles Class 7; again his was impressive; he was the player to secure the success for Brazil.

In the second match of the fixture, he accounted for Alvaro Valera (5-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-9); alas for the hosts, the two further contests were hard fought five games defeats, both resolved by the very narrowest of margins.

Telling factor

At the crucial stages, the fact that Jordi Morales and Alvaro Valera had been silver medallists in the event in London was no doubt a telling factor.

Luis Guarnieri and Paulo Salmin experienced defeat at the hands of Jordi Morales and Alvaro Valera in the opening doubles match of the fixture (12-10, 9-11, 11-4, 4-11, 11-9); in the concluding contest, Jordi Morales overcame Paulo Salmin (10-12, 16-14, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5).

Physically stronger

“The problem for us is that they are physically stronger”, explained Alvaro Valera who two days earlier was the Men’s Singles Class 6 silver medallist. Jordi Morales is Class 7 the same as Paulo Salmin; Luis Guarnieri is Class 8.

“In the doubles we had to try to avoid long rallies, we had play tactically well, play short”, added Alvaro Valera. “Against Israel, he was very effective with his services and his forehand top spin in very difficult to control when blocking.”

Felt pressure

Defeat for Alvero Valera, the pressure was firmly on the shoulders of Jordi Morales in the match to decide the outcome of the contest.

“I was losing two games to one and I down 3-8, I think Paulo felt the pressure, I kept playing, putting the ball on the table, long rallies; I was lucky, it was my day”, said Jordi Morales.

Luck but they say you make your own luck and if there was one match in the fixture where experience counted; this was the match.

Avoided forehand

“Paulo plays with long pimpled rubber on the backhand, he kept trying to stop me playing my forehand”, added Jordi Morales. “From the backhand I could only keep putting the ball back on the table, from the forehand I could win the point.”

Great Britain and Slovak Republic

Success for Spain in their opening contest in the Men’s Team Class 6-8 event, there was also success for Great Britain and for the Slovak Republic.

Two matches to nil outcomes were the end result as the British duo formed by Aaron McKibbin and Ross Wilson overcame Belgium’s Marc Ledoux and Mathhieu Loïc; whilst at the same time, Richard Csejtey and Miroslav Jambor overame the hilean pairing of Christian Dettoni and Matias Pino