30 Sep 2017

Crowned World champion in Beijing in 2014, Germany’s Valentin Baus emerged the major casualty in the Men’s Singles wheelchair events, as play in the group phase came to a close on Friday 29th September at the 2017 European Para Championships in Lasko, Slovenia.

Competing in Class 5, the no.2 seed, after on the opening day having overcome Turkey’s Hamza Caliskan in four games (11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-4), he was beaten in a full distance five games contest by Belgian’s Bart Brands (13-11, 10-12, 3-11, 11-5, 11-9).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Defeat but the door is not closed; in the concluding group phase contest, Hamza Caliskan accounted for Bart Brands in three straight games (11-9, 13-11, 11-4); the outcome was that games ratio was needed to determine the final order.

First place went to Hamza Caliskan (4:3) ahead of Valentin Baus (5:4) with Bart Brands in third place (3:5). Players finishing in first and second places advance to the main draw; thus the medal hopes of Valentin Baus remain alive.

Problems for Valentin Baus, there were no such difficulties for Turkey’s Ali Ozturk, the top seed; he secured first place in his group by also causing Germany pain. He beat Joerg Didion in five games (11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8).

Difficult times for Germany, for Great Britain with three players through to the semi-finals in Class 1 it is delightful times.

Rob Davies, the top seed, booked his last four place on the opening day; on day two he was followed by colleagues Tom Matthews and Paul Davies.

Coached by Neil Robinson, Tom Matthews, having received a walk-over the previous day when due to meet Hungary’s Endre Major, the no.2 seed, overcame Switzerland’s Sylvio Keller in the contest to determine the top two places (11-4, 13-11, 11-9). Not only did the win secure first position in the group, it secured a semi-final place.

“It was difficult to wait for a day and see everyone playing yesterday. I had prepared for my match, so it’s really good to get my campaign underway with a win. I’ve progressed massively over the last two years and having Neil Robinson back again after his injury has upped my level again and everything is going well. I’m over the moon with another championship medal but obviously I want to win the next match and see if I can get a better colour this time. So I’ll try to keep composed and keep going.” Tom Matthews

Meanwhile, Paul Davies accounted for Hungary’s Janos Kaiser (11-2, 11-3, 11-3) to conclude his initial series of matches unbeaten. A quarter-final place booked, he overcame Sylvio Keller (11-2, 11-3, 11-3) to reserve his penultimate round place.

At the semi-final stage Rob Davies meets Paul Davies, Tom Matthews opposes Frenchman Alan René Papirer, the quarter-final winner in opposition to Italy’s Federico Falco (11-9, 11-7, 11-8).

“I’m overjoyed, brilliant; Sylvio is an awkward customer and the stuff he can do with the bat, you’ve got to give him a lot of respect because he plays good on the angles. He played really well and pushed me all the way, so I’m just glad to get the win and meet my younger brother in the semis tomorrow! There is going to be a lot of respect between us; we know each other’s game so well so all we can do is give it 100 per cent and whatever happens one of us will be in the final so that’s great.” Paul Davies

A delighted Paul Davies and with sense of humour; he is no relation to Rob Davies!

Surprises in Class 5 and in Class 1, Paul Davies and Tom Matthews not being amongst the top three names; in the remaining Men’s Singles wheelchair classes, the leading names are all on track.

In Class 2, Frenchman Fabien Lamirault and Poland’s Rafal Czuper are safely through to the quarter-finals, as in Class 3 are Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger and Florian Merrien, like Fabien Lamirault from France. Notably, Thomas Schmidberger’s colleague, Thomas Brüchle, the defending champion, also booked his last eight place.

Similarly in Class 4, Turkey’s Abdullah Ozturk and Maxime Thomas of France have quarter-final places reserved.

Play in the individual events concludes on Saturday 30th September.

2017 European Para Championships: Forthcoming matches and latest results

2017 European Championships: Latest News

2017 European Championships: Daily Bulletin

2017 European Championships: Live Stream

Paralympics Para Table Tennis 2017 European Para Championships Valentin Baus Hamza Caliskan Bart Brands

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