05 May 2018

Surprise first places in the group stage at the 2018 Slovak Para Open on the opening day of action, Thursday 3rd May, in Bratislava; they were few and far between. Notably in every category, the top seeds ended the day unbeaten.

However, always there were performances that caught the eye.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

In the Women’s Singles events Italy’s Michela Brunelli and Japan’s Kanami Furukawa secured top spots in their groups contrary to expectations. In Class 3, Michela Brunelli beat Turkey’s Nergiz Altintas, the no.3 seed (11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4) to secure first place: likewise in Class 11, Kanami Furukawa accounted for Ukraine’s Natalya Kosmina, the no.2 seed (12-10, 11-4, 3-11, 7-11, 11-9).

Disappointment for Nergiz Altintas and Natalya Kosmina but consolation; it was their only defeats, thus second place and progress to the main draw was secured.

Similarly in the Men’s Singles events, the players to shine to were Brazil’s Guilherme Marcio da Costa, the Czech Republic’s Filip Nachazel and Thailand’s Chalermpong Punpoo. Also there were notable performances from Belgium’s Marc Philippe Ledoux and Hong Kong’s Wong Chi Yin. All secured first places in their respective group contrary to predictions.

Competing in Class 2, Guilherme Marcio da Costa beat the Czech Republic’s Jiri Suchanek, the no.4 seed (12-14, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7), to reserve first place in the group. Likewise, in Class 4, the latter’s colleague Filip Nachazel overcame Korea’s Kim Junggil, the no.3 seed (11-9, 10-12, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9), whilst in Class 8, Belgium’s Marc Philippe Ledoux defeated the Slovak Republic’s Richard Csejtey, the no.3 seed (11-13, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7).

Alas for both Marc Philippe Ledoux and Richard Csejtey, there was no further progress; both experienced first round exits. Marc Philippe Ledoux suffered at the hands of Great Britain’s Aaron McKibbin (16-14, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8), Richard Csejtey was beaten by Thailand’s Phisit Wangphonphathanasiri (11-3, 13-11, 11-7).

Meanwhile, in Class 7 there was also a surprise first place for Chalermpong Punpoo, like Phisit Wangphonphathanasiri from Thailand, he headed his group ahead of Japan’s Kosuke Hemmi. Brazil’s Israel Stroh, silver medallist at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and the no.3 seed in Bratislava finished in third place.

A disappointing day for Israel Stroh, it was the same Israel’s Aviv Gordon in Class 9, the no.2 seed, he finished in fourth place in his group, Hong Kong’s Wong Chi Yin topped the group. Success for Wong Chi Yin but progress was soon halted; he was beaten in the opening round by Ukraine’s Lev Kats (11-7, 11-3 8-11, 11-9).

Play in the individual events concludes on Friday 4th May.

2018 Slovakia Para Open: Latest Results

Paralympics Para Table Tennis Michela Brunelli kanami Furukawa