by Ian Marshall, Editor
Furthermore there are 16 players in action who clinched gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games; combine the two categories and there six players who are both defending champions as well as being reigning Paralympic Games champions.
Frenchman, Fabien Lamirault (Class 2) holds both titles, as does China’s Feng Panfeng (Class 3) and Great Britain’s Will Bayley (Class 7). Likewise, for the women, Kelly Van Zon of the Netherlands (Class 7) won in both Beijing and in Rio de Janeiro, a feat also achieved by China’s Mao Jiangdian (Class 8) and Poland’s Natalia Partyka (Class 10).
Most significantly, at the recently concluded Asian Para Games in Jakarta, both Feng Panfeng and Ma Jiangdian emerged victorious.
Successful in Rio de Janeiro, in the Men’s Singles events Turkey’s Abdullah Ozturk, China’s Cao Ningning and Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier alongside China’s Zhao Shuai are major challengers to the hopes of defending champions.
In Class 4, Adbullah Ozturk could well prove a stern test for colleague Nesim Turan in his title defence hopes, as in a similar fashion in Class 5 could Cao Ninging for Germany’s Valentin Baus. Likewise in Class 6, Peter Rosenmeier is a major adversary for Spain’s Alvaro Valera; in Class 8 it is the same for China’s Zhao Shuai. He has eyes focused on unseating Ukraine’s Viktor Dudukh.
Meanwhile, in the Men’s Singles event, the Class 10 defending champion, Poland’s Patryk Chojnowski and Austria’s Krisztian Gardos, silver and bronze medallists in Rio de Janeiro are on duty. Also, in Class 1, where the title is not defended, are Great Britain’s Rob Davies and Paul Davies. Notably Rob Davies won gold in Rio de Janeiro; four years ago Paul Davies was a silver medallist in Beijing.
Pominent names and there are more existing champions to note in the Men’s Singles events; winners in Rio de Janeiro, Belgium’s Laurens Devos and Florian Van Acker are both named on the entry list, the former in Class 9, the latter in Class 11.
Exacting contests ahead, it is the same for the women with Class 4 catching the eye. China’s Zhang Miao defends her title but in the same event appears the name of Serbia’s Borislava Peric-Rankovic. At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Borislava Peric-Rankovic beat Zhang Miao in the final
Similarly, also from China, Xue Juan, successful in Rio de Janeiro is major challenger in Class 3 to the title retention aspirations of colleague Li Qian; whilst in Class 11, Ukraine’s Natalya Kosmina, successful in Rio de Janeiro, could present problems for the Beijing winner, Russia’s Anzhelika Kosacheva.
In Lasko-Celje, titles hard earned in Beijing as well as in Rio de Janeiro, are very much on the line.
2018 World Para Championships: Results and Draws