24 Jul 2017

Flying the flag for Germany, gold medallists in both the Men’s Singles and Men’s Team events at the recent 4th Taichung Open for the Disabled are present in force at the four day 2017 Korea Para Open which starts in Mungyeoung on Friday 21st July.

Thomas Schmidberger and Jochen Wollmert are both named on the entry list, as is Juliane Wolf. She emulated her male colleagues in the west coast Chinese Taipei city by emerging successful in Women’s Singles Class 7-8 and later with Lena Kramm in Women’s Team Class 7-10.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In Mungyeoung, Juliane Wolf is the top seed in Class 8; in Class 9 Lena Kramm is the second seed, behind the host nation’s Kim Kunhea, the winner in the same category last year in Thailand.

Likewise, Thomas Schmidberger, Class 3 and Jochen Wollmert, Class 7, occupy top seeded positions in the Men’s Singles events. Thomas Schmidberger won Class 3 in Taichung and then later in the tournament emerged successful in the Class 4-5 Team event alongside compatriots Valentin Baus and Jan Guertler. Equally impressive, Jochen Wollmert clinched the Class 6-7 title, prior to teaming with colleague Thomas Rau to win gold in the same category.

All are major challengers for honours in Korea. In Class 6, Thomas Rau is the third seed behind Thailand’s Rungroj Thainiyom, the London 2012 gold medallist and the host nation’s Park Hongkyu. Jan Guertler is next in line to Thomas Schmidberger; Valentin Baus is the top seed in Class 5.

Also successful in Taichung, both Korea’s Kang Oejeong and Australia’s Nathan Pellissier are named on the Mungyeoung entry list. In Chinese Taipei, Kang Oejeong won Women’s Singles Class 4-5, on home soil she is the top seed in Class 4-5.

Meanwhile, Nathan Pellissier, surprise gold medallist in Taichung, again is not seeded. Once more, he is on duty in Men’s Singles Class 8, an event in which the host nation’s Kim Kwangjin, bronze medallist at the 2014 Asian Para Games, is the top seed.

A most prominent Korean challenge for honours; it is the same in Men’s Singles Class 1-2 and in Men’s Singles Class 4. In the former Park Jincheol, silver medallist in Class 2 in 2016 in China, is the top seed; Kim Younggun, gold medal winner in Men’s Team Class 4-5 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, is the top seed in Class 4.

However, it is arguably in the Women’s Singles events where the Korean challenge is the greatest. Additional to Kim Kunhea in Class 9, bronze medallists in Women’s Team Class 1-3 at the Rio 2017 Paralympic Games, Seo Suyeon, Yoo Jiyu and Li Migyu are all on duty. Seo Suyeon is the top seed in Class 1-2; Yoo Jiyu and Li Migyu are the respective top two names in Class 3.

Strong representation from the host nation; alongside Germany there is also a powerful presence from Europe as there is from Oceania.

Tonnie Heijnen of the Netherlands, Class 9 gold medallist last year in Thailand, is the top seed in Men’s Singles Class 9-10; Russia’s Elena Prokofeeva, winner earlier this year in Bayreuth is the leading name in Women’s Singles Class 11.

In a somewhat similar vein, lining up alongside Nathan Pellissier, Australia’s Samuel Von Einem and Melissa Tapper both occupy top seeded positions. Samuel Einem leads the Men’s Singles Class 11 list; Melissa Tapper is the top name in Women’s Singles Class 10.

The individual events conclude on Saturday 22nd July.

2017 Korea Para Open: Latest Results and draws

Paralympics Para Table Tennis 2017 Korea Para Open