21 Dec 2018

Named Female Para Star of the Year by the International Table Tennis Federation in Incheon just over one week ago, on Thursday 20th December, as play progressed at the 2018 Thailand Para Open in Chiang Mai, Kelly Van Zon of the Netherlands underlined the reasons for the award.

In Class 7, a group organized event, she remained unbeaten, a feat that was also achieved by the all top seeded names in the standing categories in the Women’s Singles events. Likewise, Russia’s Maliak Alieva and Korea Republic’s Kim Kunhea remained unbeaten as did Elena Prokofeva, also from Russia, in Class 11, the category for players with a learning disability.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

However, the performances of note came from host nation players, Supanee Kokaew, Wachiraporn Thermoya and Wanna Sayeyang.

Competing in Class 6, the event in which Maliak Alieva duly secured top spot in her group without great alarm, Supanee Kokaew raised the eyebrows. The third rated player in her first stage group, she secured second spot contrary to expectations. She finished behind Macao’s Lam Oi Man but ahead of Iraq’s Zainab Hasan Farttoosi and India’s Vaishnavi Vinayak Sutar, the player who had started the day, the second highest rated in the group.

However, it was a close call. Vaishnavi Vinayak Sutar was beaten by Zainab Hasan Farttoosi in her opening contest in three straight games (11-3, 11-7, 11-4), before in her closing engagement overcoming Supanee Kokaew in four games (11-9, 11-2, 9-11, 12-10). One match earlier Supanee Kokaew had beaten Zainab Hasan Farttoosi in three straight games (11-3, 11-7, 11-4); thus games ratio decided the outcome. Supanee Kokaew (4:3) finished ahead Zainab Hasan Farttoosi (3:3) and Zainab Hasan Farttoosi (3:4).

Success for Supanee Kokaew, in a very similar manner it was success for Wachiraporn Thermoya, the only difference being that top spot in the group was reserved. On duty in Class 8-10, the event in which Kim Kunhea and Chayanan Settisrikoedkun, the respective top seeds, secured first places in their respective groups, in the one remaining group, Wachiraporn Thermoya ended matters at the top of the list.

After accounting for Japan’s Megumi Ishikawa, the no.3 seed in straight games (11-7, 11-4, 12-10), she encountered defeat in five games when facing India’s Nikita Kumar (15-13, 11-5, 6-11, 5-11, 11-3). However, in the opening contest in the group, Megumi Ishikawa had beaten Nikita Kumar in three straight games (11-8, 11-4, 11-9). Thus on games ratio, it was first place for Wachiraporn Thermoya (5:3), followed by Megumi Ishikawa (3:3) and Nikita Kumar (3:5).

Close calls, for Wanna Sayeyang, the third highest listed player in her Class 11 group, it was one place higher at the end of proceedings. She experienced defeat at the hands of Hong Kong’s Ng Mui Wu, the no.2 seed (11-3, 11-3, 11-3) but overcame Macao’s Choi Nok Lo (11-6, 11-5, 11-5) and Mok Nui Yan (11-7, 11-9, 11-7) to secure runners up spot and thus progressed to the main draw. Ng Mui Wu duly finished in first place in the group; a situation that applied also to Elena Prokofeva and Wong Pui Kei, the no.3 seed and also from Hong Kong.

Notably, Korea Republic’s Kang Seohyeon and Sin Nahea who had started play as the third highest rated in their respective groups, concluded proceedings in second places.

The main draw will be concluded later in the day.

2018 Thailand Para Open: Latest Results and Main Event Draws

Paralympics Para Table Tennis 2018 Thailand Para Open