by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Furthermore, in Ostrava, the 33 year old Welshman may well once again confront an adversary he faced in Rio de Janeiro on his way to the top prize; he may well renew acquaintances with Hungary’s Endre Major.
At the semi-final stage in the Brazilian city he beat Endre Major (11-5, 11-7, 8-11, 14-12), prior to accounting for Korea’s Joo Youngdae in the final (14-12, 4-11, 11-9, 11-5); alas for Endre Major it was not to be bronze. He was beaten in the play-off contest by Kam Kiwon, also from Korea (11-9, 4-11, 11-6, 13-11).
However, arguably more pertinently on duty is Italy’s Federico Falco; earlier this year in the group stage of proceedings in Bayreuth, Rob Davies was beaten by the Italian (11-3, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9).
In Ostrava, Rob Davies who earlier this year won gold in Men’s Team Class 1 in Bayreuth, and Slovenia silver in Men’s Singles Class 1, is very much the father figure guiding his flock of young fledglings. The remaining eight members of the British squad are from the Pathway and Development group.
One factor in common and like Rob Davies all have won medals at Para Open tournaments this year.
Most notably at Para Junior Open International Tournaments, for players born on or after Saturday 1st 1994, the members of the young group have all enjoyed considerable success.
Conor McAdam emerged victorious Men’s Singles Class 6 in Romania, followed in Spain by similar success in Men’s Class 6-7. Likewise in Romania, Craig Allen won Men’s Class 9 gold; Shae Thakker reserved the top step of the podium in Class 10. Meanwhile, not to be left out, in Italy, Jack Stockdale was crowned the Men’s Singles 10 champion.
Furthermore, the remaining members of the British squad on duty in Ostrava have enjoyed success. In Italy, Alex Bland was a bronze medallist in the junior tournament in Men’s Singles Class 6-7, before in the senior event clinching the same colour medal in Men’s Singles Class 7 and then partnering colleague, Lee Wilkinson to Men’s Team Class 7 gold.
Also in Spain, Daniel Bullen was a Men’s Singles Class 5 silver medallist in both the junior and senior tournaments; whilst Ryan Henry joined forces with Shae Thakker to clinch bronze in Men’s Team Class 9-10 in Romania.
Success in 2017 for the young British male players who are en route to the Czech Republic; for the one female representative, it is the same for the one young lady on duty. In Spain, partnering Sweden’s Anna-Carin Ahlqhvist, the silver medal was secured in Women’s Team Class 2-5.
2017 Czech Para Open: Forthcoming matches and latest results