by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Both players hitherto unbeaten, in the concluding contest in a group organised Class 1-3 event, Lucie Buron captured the top prize in style. She accounted for Femke Cobben of the Netherlands, the top seed, in three straight games (12-10, 11-7, 11-1) to claim her first ever such international title.
“It has given me real confidence to get my first international gold medal, as it shows that my training is being transferred into match play. It also shows that I am progressing towards being able to compete with the top players in my class.” Lucie Bouron
Success against expectations for Lucie Bouron, it was the same for Katarzyna Marszal in Class 6-7.
The no.2 seed, at the final hurdle she beat Anne Barneoud of France by the very narrowest of five games margins (11-13, 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9). Anne Barneoud was very much a player in form, at the semi-final stage she had accounted for Germany’s Stephanie Grebe, the top seed, in a contest equally close as the final (11-13, 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9).
Titles contrary to expectations, in the two remaining Women’s Singles events, the outcome was as status predicted, the top seeds prevailed.
Germany’s Sandra Mikolaschek won the Class 4-5 title overcoming Great Britain’s Sue Gilroy, the no.2 seed in the final (11-7, 11-6, 11-3); meanwhile, Norway’s Aida Dahlen justified her top seed position in the competition to emerge as the Class 8-10 champion.
“I played well yesterday but I hurt my shoulder on the bus to the venue today and I didn’t think that it would be possible to get through to the final. I didn’t manage to focus as well as I needed to against Sandra, which was disappointing.” Sue Gilroy
However, the Norwegian did experience problems in maintaining her unbeaten record. In the concluding contest in the group organised event she was stretched to the very limit by Japan’s Yasuko Kudo. She emerged successful in five games being required to recover from a two games to nil deficit to secure victory by the very narrowest of margins (8-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 12-10).
Yasuko Kudo finished in third place behind Germany’s Marlene Reeg, a player against whom she had experienced defeat the previous day in three straight games (11-9, 13-11, 11-7).
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