31 Aug 2018

Gold medallists at the Paralympic Games in Women’s Team Class 6-10 in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro and for years earlier in London; Poland’s Karolina Pek and the host nation’s Fan Lei emerged the surprise winners in the Women’s Singles events at the 2018 Chinese Para Open in Beijing on Friday 31st August.

Karolina Pek won Class 9; for Fan Lei it was victory in Class 10.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

In Rio de Janeiro, most memorably, partnering Natalia Partyka, Karolina Pek beat Lei Lina in the contest against China that sealed gold; in Beijing the 20 year old from Tanobrzeg, underlined the progress made in recent months and years.

The no.2 seed, at the final hurdle she beat the host nation’s Zhao Xiaojing, the top seed (11-5, 11-5, 11-8) to secure gold and thus added to the one previous occasion when she had succeeded at a similar tournament. In 2017 she had won the Class 8-9 event in Lignano.

Imposing from Karolina Pek; it was very much the same from Fan Lei, the player who had struck gold in London when teaming with Lei Lina, Liu Meli and Yang Qian. After the previous day, having beaten Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic, the top seed (8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-2) to secure first place in the group, the good form continued on the second day of action.

Facing colleagues; at the semi-final stage, she beat Hou Chunxiao, the no.3 seed (4-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8), prior to sealing the title by overcoming Zhao Xiaojing, the no.2 seed (11-5, 11-5, 11-9).

Two titles secured contrary to seeding; in the remaining events, it was success as status predicted with China very much to the fore. Xue Juan won Class 3; Zhou Ying secured gold in Class 4, whilst Zhang Bian emerged as the Class 5 champion. Likewise, Mao Jingdian was anointed Class 8 champion.

Success for China, there was also success for Europe; in addition to the previous day when Russia’s Viktoriya Safonova had secured the Class 7 title, on the second day of action Italy’s Giadi Rossi won Class 1-2; Ukraine’s Maryna Lytovchenko and Natalya Kosmina reserved the respective Class 6 and Class 11 titles.

Play in the individual events concluded, the team competitions now begin; play concludes on Sunday 2nd September.

2018 China Para Open: Latest Draws and Results

Paralympics Para Table Tennis Fan Lei Karolina Pek