04 Dec 2017

A complete outsider, not listed amongst the leading names, Steven Roman brought smiles to the faces of the host nation supporters at the American Para Championships in San José, Costa Rica on Friday 1st December.

Against the odds he won the Men’s Singles Class 8 event, one of four surprise winners in the individual events; the others being Mexico’s Victor Reyes, Chile’s Cristian Gonzalez and Argentina’s Elias Romero.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

At the final hurdle, Steven Roman beat Chile’s Jaime Jara, the no.3 seed (4-11, 11-6, 11-6, 12-10) to claim the top prize, Jaime Jara having caused a semi-final upset by overcoming Canada’s Ian Kent, the top seed (3-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8).

Fine form from Steven Roman, it was the same for Victor Reyes in Men’s Singles Class 2; the no.3 seed; he accounted for Brazil’s Guilherme Marcio da Costa, the no.2 seed, in the title decider (11-4, 11-8, 11-5). One round earlier, at the semi-final stage, Guilherme Marcio da Costa had ended the hopes of colleague and top seed, Iranildo Espindola (14-12, 7-11, 15-13, 11-8).

Success for the second seed, it was the same in Men’s Singles Class 4; Cristian Gonzalez beat Mexico’s Jesus Sanchez, the no.3 seed (8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9) to arrest the title, Jesus Sanchez having recorded a semi-final win in opposition to Brazil’s Alexandre Maciera, the top seed (11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8). Meanwhile in Class 5, Elias Romero accounted for Argentina’s Daniel Rodriguez, the no.2 seed, to secure the top prize (11-8, 11-6, 11-6); not seeded, in the penultimate round, Elias Romero had overcome Argentina’s Mauro Depergola, the top seed (11-9, 11-4, 11-9) in the penultimate round.

Surprises, otherwise it was success for the top seeds.

In the Men’s Singles events, in the wheel chair competitions Fernando Eberhardt won Class 1, Argentina’s Gabriel Copola secured the Class 2 title; similarly in the standing categories, Chile’s Matias Pino Lorca was anointed the Class 6 champion whilst Brazil’s Paulo Salmin secured gold in Class 7. Gold for Brazil, it was the same in Class 9, Diego Moreira emerged successful whilst in Class 10, it was top spot for Claudio Masad.

Titles for the top seeds, in the Women’s Singles event, every event witnessed first prize for the top seeds.

Mexico enjoyed success with Edith Sigala winning Class 1-3 and Martha Verdin being anointed the Class 4 champion. Creditable performances, it was the same from Chile’s Tamara Leonelli in Class 5 and in Class 7-9 from Brazil’s Jennyfer Marques; the top seeded places were justified.

Attention now turns to the Men’s Team and Women’s Team events, play concludes on Sunday 3rd December.

 São Paulo – ITTF/PTT Level One Course
Photos: Carlos Borbon

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