14 May 2018

Bronze medallists at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Brazil’s Guilherme Marcio da Costa and Iranildo Espindola, emerged the one surprise pairing to strike gold in the wheelchair categories in the Men’s Team events at the 2018 Slovenia Para Open in Lasko on Saturday 12th May.

They secured the Class 2 title.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Not listed amongst the seeded teams and having in the group stage suffered a two-nil defeat at the hands of Slovakia’s Jan Riapos and Martin Ludrovsky, the top seeds; at the final hurdle they recorded a two matches to one win in opposition to Frenchmen Vincent Boury and Fabien Lamirault, the second seeds.

Crucially, the Brazilians secured the doubles (11-8, 7-11, 11-2, 3-11, 11-8), before Fabien Lamirault levelled matters by beating Vincent Boury (11-7, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6) and Iranildo Espindola concluded proceedings by overcoming Vincent Boury (11-9, 11-6, 10-12, 11-3).

Otherwise it was success for the favourites. Italy’s Federico Falco and Andrea Borgato won Class 1; in a group organised event, they finished ahead of the combination formed by Great Britain’s Tom Matthews and Argentina’s Guillermo Bustamente.

“Guillermo is a really nice guy and we gelled quite well. He’s got really good English so it was quite easy to understand what he wanted to do and what I wanted do to, so we got on perfectly. We improved throughout the tournament and it went really well. I’m much happier with the team event than I was after the singles. It was a shame I couldn’t do it in the singles but that is the way it goes sometimes. I’m really happy that I came back fighting. I’ve had a few difficult matches with the heat here but I’m really happy.” Tom Matthews

Meanwhile, in events where there were two stages, Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger and Thomas Bruchle justified their top seeded position. They overcame the Thai combination of Yuttajak Glinbanchuen and Anurak Laowong in the final by two matches to nil to secure the title.

A comprehensive margin of victory at the final hurdle, it was the same for Turkey’s Nesim Turan and Seleyman Vural in Class 4, as it was for colleague Abdullah Ozturk and Ali Ozturk in Class 5.

In the title deciding contest Nesim Turan and Seleyman Vural beat Poland’s Rafal Lis and Krysztof Zylka; Abdullah Ozturk and Ali Ozturk overcame Serbia’s Mitar Palikuca and Darko Babic.

2018 Slovenia Para Open: Latest Results

Paralympics Para Table Tennis 2018 Thermana Lasko 15th Slovenia Para Open Iranildo Espindola Guilherme Marcio da Costa