17 May 2017

Proceedings underway at the 2017 World Para Team Championships in Bratislava; attention very much focused on Men’s Team Class 8; medallists from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games were all in on duty.

Ukraine, Sweden and Great Britain were in action; Ukraine faced the host nation, Sweden opposed Chinese Taipei, whilst Great Britain confronted their traditional rivals in sport whether it be table tennis, cricket, rugby or dominoes. They faced Australia.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The verdicts went in favour of Ukraine, the Rio de Janeiro gold medallists, Sweden, the silver medallists and Great Britain the bronze medallists.

Notably both Ukraine and Great Britain made changes to the selection of some eight months ago. Ivan Mai partnered Viktor Didukh in the Ukraine selection as opposed to Maksym Nikolenko; whilst for Great Britain Billy Shilton joined forces with Aaron McKibbin as opposed to Ross Wilson.

Two matches to nil verdicts were the outcome. Viktor Didukh and Ivan Mai combined to beat Richard Csejtey and Jozef Krsiak (11-8, 11-8, 11-8), before Viktor Didukh concluded matters by overcoming Richard Csejtey (11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5).

At the 2017 World Para Team Championships, a fixture comprises doubles, followed by one singles and a second singles if necessary.

It was important to win the doubles match because it determines half of the outcome for the entire match due to the new format. Playing Richard in the singles is never easy, as we always have some close matches in the past. He has a good serve and strong topspin, so I had to make sure I was concentrating 100 per cent during the match in order to win.” Viktor Didukh

Success for Ukraine, it was the same for Great Britain in the “Ashes” duel; the term originates from an obituary printed in The Sporting Times in 1882 after Australia had beaten England in a cricket match played at the Oval in London; it was the first time the Australians had won on English soil. It was not be the last!

The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and “the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”; ever since that date a contest between the Poms and the Aussie has been the “Ashes”. It has now manifested itself in every sport involving the two countries.

Aaron McKibbin and Billy Shilton gave Great Britain the ideal start by beating Barak Mizrachi and Nathan Pellisier (10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3), before Aaron McKibbon accounted for Nathan Pelliser (11-4, 11-4, 11-5) to end proceedings; Ross Wilson and coach, Greg Baker, sat contented on the bench.

“Our boys did very well today; they were efficient in their game and got the job done well. Aaron played very smart in the singles and in the doubles they played well despite losing the first game. Ross is not 100 per cent fit, as he has a back problem. There is a chance that he will play in the later part of the tournament but we’ll see his recovery.” Greg Baker

Success in style for Ukraine and Great Britain, it was the same for Sweden in opposition to Chinese Taipei; no change to the Rio de Janeiro selection, there was no stopping Emil Andersson and Linus Karlsson against the Chinese Taipei duo of Hu Ming-Fu and Hou Ting-Sung.

The Swedes secured the doubles (11-9, 11-7, 11-8), before Emil Andersson overcame Hu Ming-Fu (11-6, 11-4, 12-10) to end matters.

 Day One: 2017 World Para Championships
Photos: Richard Kalocsai

2017 World Para Team Championships: Draw and Latest Results

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