28 Aug 2017

Gold at the 2013 Asian Youth Para Games staged in Kuala Lumpur but other than that little success to his name; the host nation’s Zhan Dashun emerged as the surprise winner in the Men’s Singles wheelchair classes at the 2017 Asian Para Championships in Beijing on Monday 28th August.

The 24 year old, a player with no current world ranking, secured the top prize in the same event as in the Malaysian capital city four years ago; he won Class 5.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

First place in his group against the odds, unbeaten throughout, notably accounting for Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yen-Hung, the no.2 seed (11-3, 11-9, 11-8); Zhan Dashun continued his outstanding form to beat Iran’s Mahdi Rezazadehghowaghlow (11-6, 11-5, 11-6) to reserve a semi-final place.

Two days of outstanding performances; on the third day of action, he was even more outstanding. He accounted Korea’s Kim Kyungyoung, the no.4 seed (11-5, 11-4, 13-11), prior to causing the biggest upset in the tournament to date.

He beat compatriot, Cao Ningning, the top seed and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games gold medallist (11-9, 9-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-8).

A surprise outcome, in the Men’s Singles wheelchair classes, there was one more unexpected winner but by comparison just a tremor as opposed to the earthquake caused by Zhan Dashun.

Korea’s Park Jincheol emerged as the Class 2 champion; after accounting for China’s Gao Yanming, the no.2 seed at the semi-final stage (11-0, 11-8, 11-5), he overcame colleague, Cha Sooyong, the top seed (11-7, 11-4, 13-11) to arrest the top prize.

Two somewhat surprise winners but there were no more as the top seeds prevailed and Korea enjoyed success, claiming not only gold but also silver.

Joo Youngdae won Class 1 overcoming Kim Junggil, the no.2 seed, in the final (7-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7); later in the day after overcoming China’s Guo Xingyuan, the no.3 seed (11-4, 11-6, 11-4) at the semi-final stage, Kim Younggun secured the Class 4 title. At the final hurdle he beat Kim Junggil (7-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7) a player very much in form; one round earlier, he had overcome China’s Zhang Yan,the no.2 seed (12-10, 11-8, 11-7).

Three titles for Korea in the Men’s Singles wheelchair classes; there were two such accolades for the host nation.

In addition to Zhan Dashun, Feng Panfeng won the Class 3 title; the top seed, in the latter stages he ended the hopes of colleagues with whom he had won the Men’s Team Class 3 title at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. In the penultimate round he beat Zhai Xiang, the no.3 seed (5-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-2), prior to overcoming Zhao Ping, the no.2 seed, to arrest the title (11-6, 11-3, 11-4).

“I was quite familiar with my opponent in the final because he is my teammate; I think I played my best in the semi-final.” Feng Panfeng

The individual events over, attention now turns to the team competitions; play concludes on Wednesday 30th August.

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