24 Jul 2017

An entry dominated by Europe but on the second day of play, Thursday 14th June, at the 2017 Bayreuth Open in Germany, in the Women’s Singles events it was South America who stole the show.

Brazil’s Catia Oliveira and Danielle Rauen emerged as surprise winners.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Catia Oliveira won Class 1-2 accounting for Poland’s Dorota Buclaw, the no.2 seed, at the semi-final stage (11-9, 11-7, 11-8) before capturing the title by overcoming a familiar adversary, Isabelle Lafaye of France, the no.3 seed.

One day earlier they had met in the group stage with Catia Oliveira emerging successful in four games (11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7); in the final the Brazilian emerged victorious in an even more impressive manner. She prevailed in three straight games (11-8, 11-8, 11-4). Notably, in the penultimate round, Isabelle Lafaye had accounted for Russia’s Nadejda Pushpasheva, the top seed (13-11, 11-8, 6-11, 12-10).

Success against the odds for Catia Oliveira, it was the same for Danielle Rauen in Class 9; after overcoming Turkey’s Neslihan Kavas, the no.2 seed in the semi-final round (12-10, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6), she beat Russia’s Olga Komleva to secure the top prize (11-4, 11-5, 11-7). An impressive performance from the Brazilian; Olga Komleva was a player in form; at the semi-final stage she had ousted Poland’s Karolina Pek, the top seed (11-7, 11-9, 11-9).

Two titles for Brazil and there was very nearly a third, in Class 4 Joyce Oliveira after overcoming Serbia’s Nada Matic, the no.2 seed (11-4, 9-11, 17-19, 11-6, 11-4) was narrowly beaten in the final by the host nation’s Sandra Mikolaschek, the top seed (11-6, 11-7, 4-11, 8-11, 11-3).

Gold and silver for Brazil, there was also bronze; in Class 10 Bruna Alexandre experienced a semi-final defeat at the hands of Poland’s Natalia Partyka, the top seed and champion elect. Natalia Partyka prevailed in four games (11-2, 13-11, 9-11, 11-6), before securing the title by overcoming Denmark’s Sophie Walloe (11-3, 11-3, 11-1).

Two titles for Brazil, it was the same for visitors from Asia. Yoon Jiyu won Class 3; the no.2 seed, she accounted for Croatia’s Andela Muzinic, the top seed in the final (2-11, 15-13, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7).

Success for Korea slightly contrary to expectations; in Class 5 it was as per predictions. In a group organised event, Jung Younga, the leading name, finished ahead of Nigeria’s Chinenye Obiora with Japan’s Kimie Bessho and Hong Kong’s Wong Pui Yi in respective third and fourth places.

Surprise winners and there were two more, Ukraine’s Antonina Khodzynskaya won Class 6, Russia’s Elena Prokofeva secured the Class 11 title. The success recorded by Elena Prokofeva was no great surprise; she was the no.2 seed; at the final hurdle, she accounted for Ukraine’s Natalya Kosmina, the top seed (11-9, 11-13, 12-10, 11-4).

However, Antonina Khodzynskaya was not listed amongst the top names. She beat colleague Maryna Lytovchenko, the top seed (11-9, 11-8, 11-7), prior to securing the top prize by overcoming Russia’s Raisa Chebanika, the no.2 seed (12-10, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6).

Meanwhile, in the two remaining Women’s Singles events, it was one surprise win and one very much anticipated success.

The surprise and the biggest surprise of all came in Class 8; organised on an all-play-all basis, Zu Mingyu of the United States, the lowest rated of all five players on duty remained unbeaten to secure first place. Russia’s Elena Litvinenko finished in the silver medal position with Hungary’s Zsofia Arloy, the top seed, concluded matters with the bronze medal in her possession.

An upset but not in Class 7 where Kelly Van Zon, the top seed, added to her already extensive list of title; she beat Turkey’s Kubra Korkut, the no.2 seed, in the final (21-19, 11-13, 11-5, 11-4), the verdict a repeat of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games gold medal contest.

Play in the individual events concluded; the team events now commence; proceedings conclude on Saturday 17th June.

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