by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In the engagement that brought matters to a conclusion, he saved one match point against Jan Riapos in the fourth game, before emerging successful to send his colleagues into unbridled delight (7-11, 11-8, 12-14, 13-11, 11-8).
Satisfaction at having guided Korea to the final but there was an extra degree of satisfaction; at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, he had been beaten by Jan Riapos in the Men’s Singles Class 2 final.
“I was very focused today against Jan Riapos; we have a good team spirit, my colleagues gave me great support”, said Kim Kyungmook. “My backhand was strong today; my backhand service with backspin, in particular, caused him problems.”
Success for Kim Kyungmook; in the opening match of the contest he had also enjoyed success; he partnered Cha Seoyong to success against Martin Ludrovsky and Jan Riapos (10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 14-12).
Alas for Martin Ludrovsky defeat but he was to prove the one winner for the Slovak Republic; in the second match of the engagement, he overcame Cha Sooyong (11-6, 11-13, 3-11, 11-6, 11-7).
France imposes authority
Success by narrow margins for Korea; for France life was less tense. The partnership of Fabien Lamirault and Stéphane Molliens overcame the Brazilian combination of Iranildo Espindola and Guilherme Mariao de Costa by two matches to nil.
The French pair recorded a straight games doubles win (11-9, 11-4, 11-5) to set the standard before Fabien Lamirault defeated Iranildo Espindola to conclude matters (11-2, 13-11, 11-6).
“We have a tradition of success in this event”, explained Christophe Durand, the coach sitting courtside, who won Men’s Singles Class 5 gold in Sydney in 2000 and the Men’s Singles Class 4-5 title eight years later in Beijing.
“Fabien and Stéphane never lose; they have the technique and the experience”, concluded Christophe Durand.
Furthermore, the French duo is full of self-belief.
“Before the match we were confident”, said Fabien Lamirault. “We are the best in the world.”
Final and bronze medal
The final and bronze medal contests are scheduled for 4.30pm on Saturday 17th September.