22 May 2017

First place, a first for the continent, a first for their country; on the early evening of Saturday 20th May, Bruna Alexandre and Danielle Rauen won the Women’s Class 10 title in the Stadion Ondrej Nepela and in so doing wrote their names indelibly into the history books of sport.

They became the first players from Brazil, the first from Latin America to win team gold at a World Para Championships.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Furthermore, it is only the second ever gold medal for the continent in any discipline at a World Para Championships; in 1998 in Paris, Mexico’s Cristina Hoffmann won the Women’s Singles Class 5 event.

Competing in Women’s Class 9-10, with Jennyfer Parinos, sitting courtside urging her colleagues to success; Bruna Alexandre and Danielle Rauen beat the Turkish duo of Nesilhan Kavas and Merve Demir to strike gold at the 2017 World Para Team Championships in Bratislava.

A two matches to nil outcome was the eventual verdict; crucially, the doubles was secured by the very narrowest of margins (11-8, 11-3, 9-11, 13-11, 13-11), before Bruna Alexandre overcame Merve Demir (11-8, 11-2, 11-6) to inscribe a new chapter in the annals of her nation.

“We came to Bratislava with the aim of being World Champions. I am pleased that we were able to achieve this dream. In the final, the doubles was very tough, as the Turkish players changed their strategies throughout the game. We had to keep finding ways to solve problems during the match; what stood out was our team spirit, we practise together regularly in Brazil.” Bruna Alexandre

The win builds on earlier success gained by Bruna Alexandre and Danielle Rauen; notably, also with Jennyfer Parinos, they were bronze medallists at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Women’s Team Class 6-10.

Meanwhile, earlier at the 2014 World Para Championships in Beijing, in Women’s Team Class 9-10 with Jane Rodriguez completing the squad, they finished with the same colour medal.

A momentous day for Brazil, a milestone in the country’s sporting history was recorded.

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