11 Jun 2017

Gold just under two years ago in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca; Ireland’s Colin Judge entered the courts in the Poliesportiu CEM Estruch stadium in El Prat de Llobregat on Saturday 10th June at the 2017 Spanish Para Open, somewhat an outsider.

He concluded the day the winner of the Class 2 title.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Alongside, Argentina’s Guillermo Bustamante and Ian Seidenfeld of the United States, the Irishman emerged one of three surprise winners in the Men’s Singles events.

At the final hurdle, Colin Judge accounted for Frenchman, Benoît Besset (9-11, 15-13, 11-8, 11-13, 11-7), a player very much in form; at the semi-final stage he had overcome colleague and top seed Stéphane Molliens (11-9, 12-10, 11-9).

It was for Colin Judge an opportunity seized with the exit of the top seed; it was very much the same for 15 year old Ian Seidenfeld. Competing in Class 6, in the title deciding contest, he overcame the host nation’s Alberto Seone (11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 15-13); the player who one round earlier had received a walk-over against colleague, Alvaro Valera.

Success for Ian Seidenfeld and a milestone win; it was his first ever such title, his previous best being runners up spot in Class 6 at last year’s United States Open.

Likewise, it was the same for Guillermo Bustamante, his prior best was bronze; a finish attained in Class 1 in 2015 at the Copa Chile and last year at the United States Open, as well as once again in Chile in Class 1-3.

In El Prat de Llobregat, in Class 1; he caused a major upset at the final hurdle. He beat top seeded Frenchman, Alan Papirer (9-11, 15-13, 11-8, 11-13, 11-7) to arrest the title.

Disappointment for France but there was success; Lucas Creange secured first prize in Class 11, a win as status predicted. He was the top seed.

Similarly, the top seed, there was gold for Indonesia, David Jacobs won Class 10 but it was Spain and the Nordic countries who enjoyed the greatest success as the individual events concluded.

Francisco Lopez won Class 4 to fly the flag for the host nation; likewise Jordi Morales secured the Class 7 title, Juan Bautista Perez was crowned the Class 8 champion.

Three titles for Spain, it was two for Sweden and one for Norway; for the former Carl Ohgren and Emil Andersson emerged successful, for the latter it was Tommy Urhaug. Carl Ohgren won the Class 3 event, Emil Andersson secured gold in Class 8, for Tommy Urhaug it was the top prize in Class 9.

Individual events over, attention now focuses on the team competition; play concludes on Sunday 11th June.

Spanish Para Open: Draw and Latest Results

Paralympics Para Table Tennis 2017 Spanish Para Open