by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
One surprise gold medallist but no more; however, there were three surprise silver medal winners.
In Men’s Team Class 1-2, the host nation combination of Hwang Seongcheol, Kim Hyeon Uk and Kang Changyoung, the lowest rated outfit in the event, finished in second place behind top seeded colleagues, Park Jincheol, Lee Jungi and Jung Jiwon in group organised competition.
Likewise, in Men’s Team Class 6-7, it was the host nation who raised the eyebrows. The combination formed by Park Hongkyu, Kim Youngsung and Park Joonso recorded a two-nil win against Germany’s Thomas Rau and Jochen Wollmert, the second seeds to reserve their place in the final, where once again they confronted the top seeded Thai duo of Rungroj Thainiyom and Chalermpong Punpoo. In the group stage one day earlier they had experienced a two-one defeat; it was the same in the title deciding contest.
Two unexpected Men’s Team runners up, the one further outfit to upset the odds was that of Japan’s Maki Ito and Yumi Ono in Women’s Team Class 11. The third highest rated at the start of play, in a group organised event, they finished one place behind the Russian formation of Maria Galkina, Anzhelika Kosacheva and Elena Prokofeva.
Otherwise it was very much the status quo that prevailed, with Korea enjoying notable success.
Additional to the efforts of Park Jincheol, Lee Jungi and Jung Jiwon; in the Men’s Team events, the combination of Kim Jinsung, Baek Younbok and Lim Hangseung won Men’s Team Class 3, whilst Kim Kwangjin, Shin Myungkook and Park Jongreyek justified their top billing to secure the Men’s Team Class 8 top prize. Likewise, in Class 11, it was success for the trio comprising Kim Gitae, Son Byeongjun and Kim Changgi.
Titles for Korea, in the one remaining Men’s Team event, it was gold for Germany; the outfit formed by Valentin Baus, Jan Guertler and Thomas Schmidberger won the Class 4-5 title.
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Team events, other than in Class 11, it was success after success for Korea.
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games bronze medallists, Yoon Jiyu, Seo Suyeon and Lee Migyu won Class 1-3; Kang Oejeong and Kim Meerang claimed the Class 4-5 crown, whilst Kim Kunhea, Kim Seongok and Jung Jinmi emerged as the Class 6-10 champions.
Play concluded in Mungyeong; next on the Para calendar are the Asian Para Championships. Play starts in Beijing on Saturday 26th August.
2017 Korea Para Open: Latest Results and Draws