18 May 2017

The first title to be decided at the 2017 World Para Team Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia; in a tension packed atmosphere on the evening of Thursday 18th May, Italy’s Michela Brunelli and Giada Rossi emerged successful in Women’s Class 3.

In a group organised event, the duo completed their schedule of fixtures by upsetting the odds; they beat the top seeded Croatian partnership of Helena Dretar and Andela Muzinic in a full distance three match duel.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Crucially, the Italians won the doubles by the very narrowest of margins (9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10), before Andela Muzinic levelled matters by overcoming Giada Rossi (11-6, 11-6, 11-6).

The decision on the proverbial knife-edge, Michela Brunelli beat Helena Dretar in five games (11-7, 12-14, 11-2, 7-11, 11-4).

“We are very happy to win the World Champion title. It was a tough match against the Croatians as they are very strong. The doubles was very crucial; in the fifth game we were lucky to have a net ball at 10-10. The strategy was to slow down the pace and to concentrate one hundred per cent.” Michela Brunelli

The gold medal decided, Helena Dretar and Andela Muzinic now meet Turkey’s Hatice Duman and Nergiz Altinas to determine second place.

Notably, in an event where there are five teams, such as in Women’s Class 3 and proceedings are organised on a group basis, only gold and silver medals are awarded.

Winners known, as matters progress, in other events medallists are known but not the colour.

In Women’s Class 6-7, Russia meets Ukraine to determine gold and silver in a group organised event. Similarly in Women’s Class 11 Russia is medal bound whilst in Class 9-10, Brazil, Turkey, Germany and Croatia are the four semi-finalists. In events where there are two stages, two bronze medals are awarded.

Meanwhile, in the Men’s events; Germany and Ukraine are through to the semi-finals in Class 3, as are Turkey and France in Class 4. It is the same in Class 5 where Chinese Taipei and Serbia having reserved penultimate round places, as have Ukraine and Sweden in Class 8

Similarly, in Class 9 Japan is through the penultimate round, as in Class 10 are Poland and Spain, whilst in Class 11 France is guaranteed a medal in group arranged competition.

Play continues on Friday 19th May.

 Day Two: 2017 World Para Championships
Photos: Richard Kalocsai

2017 World Para Team Championships: Draw and Latest Results

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