14 Dec 2017

Sufficient medals to fill a local casino, the leading ladies on duty at the United States Para Open in Las Vegas; Sweden’s Anna-Carin Ahlquist and Kelly Van Zon of the Netherlands, both Paralympic Games gold medallists, emerged unscathed on the opening day of play, Wednesday 13th December.

Competing in Class 2-3, Anna-Carin Ahlquist duly finished in first position in her group and thus booked her semi-final place; on duty in Class 6-7 event, Kelly Van Zon ended the day the only unbeaten player in an all-play-all organised competition.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Likewise, in Class 4-5, Israel’s Caroline Tabib and Mexico’s Martha Verdin ended the day as the only unbeaten players in a group staged competition, as did Norway’s Aida Dahlen and Zu Mingyu of the United States in Class 8.

However, there was one casualty of note; in Class 2-3, Mexico’s Edith Sigala, the no.2 seed, was beaten by Japan’s Yukimi Chada (7-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-8, 11-0) and had to settle for second place in the group. Yukimi Chada duly remained unbeaten to top the group.

Defeat but runners up spot meant progress to the main draw; in all Para events organised in two stages, players finishing in first and second places in the initial phase advance to the main draw.

Success for the top seeds, it was very much the same in the Men’s Singles events on the first day of action.

In Class 1, Finland’s Matti Launonen and Michael Godfrey, the top two names remained unbeaten as in Class did Korea’s Park Jincheol and Mexico’s Victor Reyes.

Meanwhile, in Class 3, a group organised event, Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger ended the day the only unbeaten player as did Korea’s Kim Junggil in Class 4; a successful day for Thomas Schmidberger, it was the same for his colleague Valentin Baus, the top seed in Class 5. He remained unbeaten as did Norway’s Tommy Urhaug, the second seed.

Similarly, in Class 6, Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier and Thailand’s Rungroj Thainiyom the respective top two seeds, ended the day unbeaten, a feat achieved in Class 7 by Jean-Paul Montanus of the Netherlands and Brazil’s Israel Stroh.

It was very much the same scenario in Class 9 where the host nation’s Tal Leibovitz and Japan’s Koyo Iwabuchi remained unbeaten as in Class 10 did Indonesia’s David Jacobs and Great Britain’s Kim Daybell.

Progress for the top two names on duty but not in Class 8, Andrianus Van Amerongen of the Netherlands, the no.2 seed, finished in third place in his group behind Norway’s Fredrik Johansen and Ecuador’s Paul Polo. An early defeat for the second name in the order of merit, not for the top name, Thailand’s Phisit Wangphonphathanasiri; alongside Norway’s Pablo Jacobsen and the Japanese duo of Takumi Shunkunobe and Yoshihisa Takeda, semi-final places were reserved.

In the one remaining Men’s Singles category, Class 11, also from Japan, Takashi Takeda remained the one unbeaten player on the initial day of action.

Play in both the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events concludes on Thursday 14th December

Paralympics Para Table Tennis 2017 United States Para Open