28 Aug 2017

Experience told, as play in the Men’s Singles standing classes at the 2017 Asian Para Championships in the Chinese capital city of Beijing came to a conclusion on Monday 28th August, all five events in addition to that for players with learning disabilities, finished in the hands of the top seeds.

Furthermore, four finished in the grasp of the host nation as Yan Shuo, Zhao Shuai and Zhao Yiqing alongside Lian Hao claimed gold.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Impressively, Yan Shuo secured the Class 7 title beating colleague Liao Keli, the no.2 seed, in the final (13-11, 6-11, 11-5, 16-14), having one round earlier, accounted for Hong Kong’s Chen Silu (11-3, 11-9, 11-1).

Likewise, 22 year old Zhao Shuai imposed his authority on affairs in Class 8; in the penultimate round he ousted Japan’s Aruuahirokazu Tateishi (11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4), before in the title deciding contest beating compatriot, Ye Chaqun, the no.2 seed (8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7).

“I was very nervous before the final, my opponent is my team mate and we know each other very well. I am young and lack experience but I think in the semi-final and final I played to the best of my ability.” Zhao Shuai

Success without the need for a deciding fifth game; it was the same from Lian Hao in Class 10 but not for Zhao Yiqing in Class 9.

Lian Hao overcame Kong Weijie, also from China, at the semi-final stage (7-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-3), prior to securing the title at the final expense of Thailand’s Bunpot Sillapakong (11-5, 11-7, 11-8).

“Today was not very difficult for me because I have taken part in quite a lot of competitions before; I was able to dominate the final; I’m pleased with my form.”Lian Hao

Similarly, in his semi-final contest, Zhao Yiqing experienced few problems, he beat Japan’s Nouyuki Suzuki in three straight games (11-1, 13-11, 11-4); however, in the final, he experienced a much sterner test. He needed the full five games to overcome Koyo Iwabuchi, the no.2 seed, staving off a most spirited challenge from the Japanese 22 year old (11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 8-11, 11-5).

Titles for China, in the one remaining Men’s Singles standing class, as in Class 11 for players with learning disabilities, there was success for Korea.

A place in the final booked the previous day, Park Hongkyu beat the host nation’s Huang Jiaxin (15-13, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9) to claim the Class 6 title; Kim Gitae, after ending the hopes of colleague, Son Byeongjun (14-12, 9-11, 11-9, 13-11), ended the hopes of Japan’s Takeshi Takemori (12-10, 11-9, 11-5) to secure the Class 11 crown.

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

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