12 Jun 2017

Great Britain, Sweden and the host nation emerged as surprise gold medallists as play came to a conclusion in the Men’s Team events at the 2017 Spanish Para Open in El Prat de Llobregat on Sunday 11th June.

The Spanish success was no major upset, the combination of Jorge Cardona, Marlon Lopez and Juan Bautista Perez started proceedings as the second seeds in Class 10.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

However, for the Great Britain pairing of Alexander Bland and Lee Wilkinson in Class 7, as for the Swedish trio of Bernt Norgren, Carl Ohgren and David Olsson in Class 4-5, they were major surprise winners.

Jorge Cardona, Marlon Lopez and Juan Bautista Perez beat the top seeded Indonesian combination of Komet Akbar, David Jacobs and Kusnanto by two matches to nil at the final hurdle, having one round earlier recorded the same margin of victory in opposition to the pairing formed by Ireland’s Tom Davis and Brazil’s Lucas Carvalho.

An impressive performance but in the ranking list of major upsets, choosing between Great Britain and Sweden would result in opinions shared.

At the conclusion of the group stage fixtures, Bernt Norgren, Carl Ohgren and David Olsson did not look even medal contenders let alone title aspirants. They had experienced a two-one defeat at the hands of Chinese Taipei’s Lin Gow-Ching and Ko Kun-Nan, finishing in second place in their group.

Second position and thus a place in the main draw; from that point forward there was no looking back as a series of two-one wins secured the title.

At the quarter-final stage it was victory in opposition to the French pairing of Philippe Durieux and Stéphane Molliens, followed by success against Chinese Taipei’s Liang Chen-Kun and Chen Tai-An. A place in the final, the title was secured in opposition to their nemesis of one day earlier. They beat Lin Gow-Ching and Ko Kun-Nan to claim the top prize.

A quite stunning performance; it was exactly the same from Alexander Bland and Lee Wilkinson. In a group organised event the British duo started matters as lowest rated of the four outfits; they turned matters totally upside down conceding just one individual match en route to gold.

The most severe test came at the hands of the top seeded partnership comprising Norway’s Markus Koteng and Austria’s Andreas Thomasberger; a two-one win was recorded. In the two remaining contests there was no such charity; two-nil wins were posted against Spain’s Joan Pahisa and Carles Millera, as well as when facing the Swedish duo Sam Gustafsson and Noah Olsson.

Notably for Sam Gustafsson and Noah Olsson it was there only defeat and thus the silver medal on what was a good day for Sweden.

Additional to their efforts and those of Bernt Norgren, Carl Ohgren and David Olsson, the trio formed by Emil Andersson, Axel Jensen Wallin and Linus Karlsson secured the top prize in Class 8 as in Class 9 did Tobias Andersson, Daniel Gustafsson and Fabian Rignell. Both wins were as anticipated; the Swedes were the top seeds.

Top spot for the top seeds, it was the same in the Women’s Team events.

Brazil’s Joyce Oliveira and Catia Oliveira won Class 2-5, the combination of Indonesia’s Shella Dwi Radayana and Norway’s Merethe Tveiten struck gold in Class 6-10.

Proceedings concluded in El Prat de Llobregat, attention now turns to Germany; the Bayreuth Para Open commences on Wednesday 14th June.

 2017 Spanish Para Open
Photos: Antonio Alvarez

Spanish Para Open: Team Events – Final Results

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