14 Nov 2018

Winners one year ago in Alicante, Norway’s Tommy Urhuag and Indonesia’s David Jacobs defend their respective Class 5 and Class 10 Men’s Singles titles at the forthcoming Spanish Para Open.

A four day tournament, play commences in Almeria on Thursday 15th November, the venue for the proceedings being the Pabellon Municipal de El Toyo-Retamar.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Furthermore, both can commence proceedings with an air of confidence; earlier this year in Lasko, Tommy Urhuag emerged a silver medallist at the World Para Championships, whilst David Jacobs secured gold at the Asian Para Championships in Jakarata. Notably, earlier in the year, David Jacobs won the Men’s Singles 40 to 44 Years title at the World Veteran Championships in Las Vegas.

Challengers for honours but undoubtedly one of the strongest challenges emanates from Ukraine. Gold medallist in Lasko in Women’s Singles Class 6, Maryna Lytovchenko is on duty, as are her male counterparts Viktor Didukh, Ivan Mai and Maksym Nikolenko in Men’s Singles Class 8. Significantly. at the recent World Para Championships, Ivan Mai was a bronze medallist; at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Viktor Didukh and Maksym Nikolenko emerged as the Men’s Team Class 6-8 gold medallists.

Also medallists at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and at the 2018 World Para Championships, Austria’s Krisztian Gardos and Hungary’s Peter Palos both appear on the Almeria entry list. In both competitions Krisztian Gardos was a bronze medallist in Men’s Singles Class 10. Having been a gold medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Peter Palos was a bronze medallist in Rio de Janeiro, a silver medallist more recently in Lasko.

Meanwhile, for the host nation, eyes focus very much on José Manuel Reyes. Competing in Class 10, he struck Men’s Singles gold in 2001 and 2009 at the European Para Championships; in the Open Standing Class he secured the top step of the podium in 2007 at the European Para Championships and in 2010 at the World Para Championships. More recently at the 2017 European Para Championships in Lasko he won bronze.

A total of 164 men and 28 women will compete in Almeria representing 24 national associations. In addition to Spain, the national associations present are: Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Sweden, Ukraine, United States, Venezuela.

Paralympics Para Table Tennis David Jacobs Tommy Urhaug