by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Feng Panfeng (Class 3) and Can Ningning (Class 5), both gold medallists at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games topped their initial phase groups as did Yan Shuo (Class 7), Zhao Shuai (Class 8), Zhao Yiqing (Class 9) and Lian Hao (Class 10).
Similarly, Slovakia’s Jan Riapos (Class 2), Korea’s Kim Youngun (Class 4) and Australia’s Samuel Von Einem (Class 11) all justified their top seeded positions by reserving first place in their respective groups. Also to the delight of the host nation, it was pole positon for Rungroj Thainiyom (Class 6).
However, there were surprises in the initial phase of the Men’s Singles event with Korea’s Park Jincheol alongside the Japanese duo of Takuya Nakajima and Ryo Miyauchi being the players to cause the biggest upsets; all accounted for second seeded adversaries.
In Class 2, Park Chincheol beat China’s Gao Yanming (11-6, 11-5, 11-8); in Class 9, Takuya Nakajima accounted for Tonnie Heinen of the Netherlands (11-6, 11-9, 11-7), whilst in Class 11, Ryo Miyuachi defeated Korea’s Son Byeongjun (11-7, 11-7, 11-7).
One surprise of note in Class 11, there was one more and a reversal of fortunes; Korea’s Jin Seongmin overcame Japan’s Takahashi Takid, the no.3 seed (11-8, 11-13, 4-11, 11-9, 11-8). Likewise in Class 10, there was defeat for the third seed; Russia’s Pavel Lukyanov was beaten by China’s Mao Shubo (12-14, 11-1, 11-4, 11-1).
Problems for notable names, in Class 3 as in Class 5, it was defeat for the fourth seed; in the former Jordan’s Osama Abu Jame was beaten by Russia’s Vladimir Toporkov (8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-5), the latter, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yen-Hung suffered at the hands of Korea’s Park Jaehyeon (11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5).
Defeats contrary to expectations for visitors of standing, it was the same for the host nation, both players occupying the fifth seeded spot; in Class 7 Charlermpong Punpoo lost to Hong Kong’s Lee Ming Yip (12-10, 11-2, 7-11, 11-3), in Class 8 Komkrit Charitsat was beaten by Australia’s Barak Mizrachi (11-5, 3-11, 11-6, 13-15, 11-7).
A notable result for Australian; also in Class 8 Nathan Pellisier impressed; he beat Korea’s Shin Myungkook, the no.7 seed (11-9, 11-9, 11-9).
Wins contrary to expectations, for those who upset the odds it was a day without defeat and first place in the group; for those who experienced defeat, their only loss, runners up spot and progress to the knock-out rounds.
2017 Thailand Para Open: Latest Results and Forthcoming Matches