by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
First place in the group without the loss of a single individual match, a three-one penultimate round win was recorded against the Spanish combination of Arnau Pons, Iker Gonzalez and Norbert Tauler prior to a three-two success being secured in the final when facing the Portuguese outfit comprising David Bessa, Ricardo Correia and João Silva.
Against Spain, Ivor Ban accounted for Arnau Pons (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6) and Iker Gonzalez (11-5, 11-9, 11-3) whilst partnering Filip Borovnjak to doubles success against Arnau Pons and Norbert Tauler (5-11, 11-9, 15-13, 9-11, 11-3).
The backbone of success in opposition to Spain, it was the same in the final. Impressively, Ivor Ban beat David Bessa (11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 15-13) and Ricard Correia (11-7, 11-8, 11-8); sandwiched in between, once again he allied with Filip Borovnjak in the doubles. The duo overcame David Bessa and João Silva in what proved to be the crucial match of the contest (11-2, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9).
Earlier at the semi-final stage, Portugal had beaten the Czech Republic pairing of Matej Stach and Simon Belik by three matches to one; a contest in which a recovery had been necessary.
In the opening match of the fixture, David Bessa had lost to Matej Stach (11-7, 10-12, 11-2, 11-4) but that was to prove the sum total of Czech success. Richard Correira accounted for Simon Belik in a closely fought encounter (7-11, 13-11, 5-11, 11-8, 13-11), before David Bessa and João Silva secured the doubles (11-5, 19-17, 7-11, 11-9). David Bessa concluded matters by beating Simon Belik (14-12, 10-12, 13-11, 11-2).