by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Earlier this year at the 2017 European Para Championships in Lasko, Slovenia, Will Bayley won his seventh consecutive major medal when he captured bronze in Men’s Singles Class 7; meanwhile Martin Perry joined forces with David Wetherill and Paul Karabardak to secure gold in Men’s Team Class 6.
Performances to note as were the efforts of Kim Daybell, a medical student in his final year at Leeds University; alongside Ashley Facey Thompson, he secured silver in Men’s Team Class 10.
“The Europeans was one of my best tournaments. It was really good to take a medal there having never taken a major medal before. So I’ll go in feeling good about my game but I know that I need to go through the same process that I did before to try and reproduce that performance again. I just want to finish the year on a high. It has been a really good year for the whole team, so it would be nice to finish with a medal and feel that I have played well and round off what has been a really good season.” Kim Daybell
Notable names from Great Britain and there are more from foreign shores competing in Las Vegas.
In the Women’s Singles events, Sweden’s Anna-Carin Ahlquist (Class 3), gold medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in on duty as is Kelly Van Zon of the Netherlands (Class 7), successful in both London and Rio de Janeiro. Similarly, Denmark’s Aida Dahlen (Class 8), crowned European champion and Vejle in 2015 and title retained earlier this year in Lasko, competes.
Meanwhile, in the Men’s Singles competition, there is a strong German presence in the guise of Thomas Schmidberger (Class 3) and Valentin Baus (Class 5). Earlier this year Thomas Schmidberger claimed gold at the European Championships; in 2014 in Beijing, Valentin Baus was crowned World champion.
Similarly, Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier (Class 6), gold medallist at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games is on duty as recently crowned European champion, Jean-Paul Montanus (Class 7) of the Netherlands. Furthermore, reigning Asian champion, Indonesia’s David Jacobs (Class 10) makes the journey.
A strong entry from foreign shores, for the host nation, eyes focus on Tal Leibovitz (Class 9); gold medallist at the Toronto 2015 Para Panamerican Championships.
Overall 96 men and 19 women compete in Las Vegas.
2017 United States Para Open: Latest Results and Forthcoming Matches