30 Oct 2017

Two titles and both contrary to expectations, Great Britain enjoyed success in the Men’s Team standing categories at the 2017 Belgian Para Open in St. Niklaas, on Monday 30th October, the concluding day of action in the three day tournament.

Both partnerships commencing matters as the second seeds, the combination of Martin Perry and Conor McAdam secured the Class 6 Team title; Billy Shilton in harness with Joshua Stacey emerged as the Class 9 champions.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

At the final hurdle Martin Perry and Conor McAdam overcame the top seeded pairing formed by Romania’s Bobi Simion and Georgios Mouchthis of Greece by two matches to nil; the duo having posted a two-nil semi-final success in opposition to the German outfit comprising Tim Laue, Benedikt Müller and Steffen Schaffer.

“It’s a great feeling to win gold. Playing with Conor was fun. It’s something we’ve not done for a while and I think that showed at the beginning as our doubles play wasn’t so strong but in the final we played some good, clever table tennis and Conor was vital in that. His service in the final doubles match could not have been better and at times put us on the front foot when we needed a point. I’m really pleased we won the team event together.” Martin Perry

“ I feel that I played well and that was shown by the gold medal; it was great to win gold with Martin and hopefully there will be more to come.” Conor McAdam

In the counterpart semi-final, Bobi Simion and Georgios Mouchthis had recorded a two-nil success against the partnership which witnessed an allegiance between Central America and Africa; Costa Rica’s Domingo Arguello partnered South Africa’s Petrus du Plooy.

Success against the top seeds, it was the same for Billy Shilton and Joshua Stacey but not in the final; in the penultimate round they accounted for Japan’s Koyo Iwabuchi and Takumi Tsujimura by two matches one. A place in the final reserved, increasingly confident the British duo overcame the pairing of Romania’s Daniel Dinca and Frenchman Lucas Didier, a two-one success being the verdict.

“I’m really pleased to come away with the gold in the team event with Josh, as we haven’t played together before. Our doubles was very good and that gave us confidence for the singles matches.” Billy Shilton

“I feel that I’ve played very well considering it was my first time experiencing international Para table tennis. Winning a medal in singles and gold in team gives me a lot of confidence for other tournaments going forwards and I hope to continue performing well and pushing myself to improve in each performance.” Joshua Stacey

One round earlier Daniel Dinca and Lucas Didier, who recorded a two-nil win in the group stage in opposition to Koyo Iwabuchi and Takumi Tsujimura, had beaten Germany’s Yannick Ruddenklau and Tom Terkuhlen by two matches to nil to reserve their place in the final.

Notable success for Great Britain; there was also notable success for Belgian but as expected.

Ben Despineux partnered Japan’s Kosuke Hemmi to success in Class 7; the top seeds, in a group arranged event, they finished ahead of Jacobus Meiland and Hans Speek of the Netherlands. The Swiss combination of Valentin Kneuss and Michael Faessler in ended the day third place.

Similarly, in Class 8, the Belgian combination of Marc Ledoux and Matthieu Loïcq justified their top seeded position; at the final hurdle they recorded a two-one win when facing the second seeded French pairing of Elias Debeyssac and Clément Berthier.
Success for Marc Ledoux meant that he departed St. Niklaas with two titles; the previous day he had struck gold in Men’s Singles Class 8.

Individual success followed by team success, it was exactly the same for Bas Hegerlink of the Netherlands; having won the Class 10 individual title, he partnered compatriot Emmanuel Martins to the top prize in the same class in the team event

In a group organised event, they finished ahead of the partnership comprising South Africa’s Theo Cogill and Germany’s Lion Bauer. Poland’s Igor Misztal, Pawel Konstantyn and Pawel Jablonski concluded matters in third place.

Play concluded in St. Niklaas, attention now turns to Alicante on the Costa Blanca; the Spanish Para Open commences on Thursday 9th November.

2017 Belgian Para Open: Review of Team Events (Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th October)

2017 Belgian Para Open: Latest Results

Paralympics Para Table Tennis 2017 Belgian Para Open