30 Oct 2017

Triumph for the host nation, Marc Ledoux and Laurens Devos both emerged successful in the Men’s Singles standing categories at the 2017 Belgian Para Open in St. Niklaas on Sunday 29th October.

Furthermore, they were not alone; compatriot Florian Van Acker secured the Class 11 title, the event for players with a learning disability.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Like Laurens Devos, a gold medallist at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Florian Van Acker emerged victorious in a group organised event; he finished ahead of Germany’s Florian Hartig with Poland’s Damian Fira and Marek Chybinski in respective third and fourth places.

An impressive performance from Florian Van Acker, he did not surrender one individual match en route to the title; it was very similar from Laurens Devos and Marc Ledoux.

The top seeds in each instance and in the finals facing the second seeds; in Class 8 Marc Ledoux overcame compatriot Mathieu Loïcq (11-5, 11-8, 11-6), in Class 9, in the title deciding duel, Laurens Devos accounted for Japan’s Koyo Iwabuchi (11-8, 11-3, 7-11, 11-2).

Wins as predicted, it was the same in Class 7 where Slovakia’s Miroslav Jambor, the top seed, beat Belgium’s Ben Despineux, the no.2 seed, in the gold medal duel (10-12, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9).

However, in Class 6 and Class 10, it was a different story. In the former an all Great Britain final resulted in success for Wales against Scotland. Paul Karabardak, the no.2 seed overcame Martin Perry, the no.3 seed, to arrest the title (13-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6). Notably at the semi-final stage, Martin Perry had beaten Romania’s Bobi Simon, the top seed (11-9, 9-11, 13-11, 5-11, 11-5).

“I’m really pleased, I felt in good form and I needed to be at my best to beat Martin who was playing brilliantly, the best I’ve seen him play. It was close and nervy but we both went for it and played well but thankfully I had a little bit more on the day to win.” Paul Karabardak

“Topping my group filled me with confidence. Simion is just off the back of a good Europeans so I knew he was playing well but I believed in my ability and I played some great table tennis and showed how much I’ve raised my game recently. The final against PK was an absolute battle and we really brought the best out of each other because we had some amazing rallies.” Martin Perry

Gold for the second seed, in Class 10 it was gold for the third seed and a complete reversal of fortunes. Bas Hegerlink of the Netherlands beat Poland’s Igor Misztal in the final by the very narrowest of five game decisions (11-8, 10-12, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9), the previous day in the group stage he had experienced a straight games defeat (11-8, 11-5, 11-4) against his final victim.

Defeat against Igor Misztal certainly had an effect on Bas Hegerlink; later in the day at the quarter-final stage he accounted Frenchman, Matteo Boheas (11-6, 11-7, 13-11) prior to overcoming Spain’s José Manuel Ruiz in the semi-finals (11-8, 3-11, 11-13, 14-12, 11-7) on the second day of action.

Play in the individual events over, attention now turns to the team competitions; proceedings conclude on Monday 30th October.

2017 Belgian Para Open: Daily Report (Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th October)

2017 Belgian Para Open: Latest Results and Forthcoming Matches and Fixtures

2017 Belgian Para Open: Live Stream – Table No.6

2017 Belgian Para Open: Live Stream – Table No.7

2017 Belgian Para Open: Live Stream – Table to be advised

Paralympics Para Table Tennis 2017 Belgian Para Open