22 Dec 2018

Winner earlier this year in both Slovenia and Spain, the host nation’s Rungroj Thainiyom added to his list of successes on Thursday 20th December in Chiang Mai, as play in the Men’s Singles standing categories came to a conclusion at the 2018 Thailand Para Open.

He emerged successful in Men’s Singles Class 6.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Success but hard fought success, he clinched gold by the very narrowest of margins in what proved the most closely contested final of the day. The top seed, after recording a straight games win in opposition to Russia’s Alexander Esaulov (11-9, 11-6, 11-5), he was stretched to the very limit by Korea Republic’s Park Hongkyu (11-2, 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 13-11).

The top prize for Rungroj Thainiyom, it was the same outcome for colleague Phisit Wangphonphatnanasiri, the leading name in Class 8 but in rather less dramatic circumstances.

In the latter stages he recorded straight games wins in opposition to Australia’s Nathan Pellissier (11-4, 13-11, 11-3) and colleague, Komrit Charitsat, the no.5 seed (11-5, 11-1, 11-7) before securing the title at the final expense of Hong Kong’s Lam Ka Wei, the no. 4 seed (11-8, 12-10, 11-6). Notably, Lam Ka Wei was a player in form; at the semi-final stage he had beaten Vietnam’s Pham Van Hoang (10-12, 11-8, 11-13, 11-3, 11-3), the quarter-final winner in opposition to Russia’s Aleksei Saunin, the no.2 seed (8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5).

Titles for the top seeds but it was not the situation in the remaining Men’s Singles standing categories; the biggest surprise being in Class 10 where Japan’s Naoya Nagashita, not seeded, emerged victorious. At the semi-final stage he beat colleague and top seed, Nariaki Kakita (4-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9), before overcoming Thailand’s Bunpot Sillapakong, the no.2 seed (13-11, 11-5, 3-11, 6-11, 11-8).

An unexpected success for Naoya Nagashita, it was to some extent the same in Class 7 for colleague Masachika Inoue; the no.2 seed, he secured the title at the final expense of Thailand’s Chalermpong Punpoo, the top seed (11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6), having one round earlier ousted colleague Takuya Shibasaki (11-5, 11-5, 11-5).

Likewise in Class 9 it was success for the second seed; Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Deshappriya Pitiyage Don Silva claimed gold. Following a semi-final win against Kazakhstan’s Talgat Erekeyev (11-5, 11-3, 11-6) he overcame Hong Kong’s Wong Chi Yin (12-10, 10-12, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7) to reserve the top step of the podium.

Gold for the second seeds, in Class 11, the category for players with a learning disability it was the same outcome. After overcoming Japan’s Yuki Kinoshita, the no.3 seed (11-3, 11-9, 11-3); Hong Kong’s Wan Wai Lok beat colleague Leung Chung Yan (13-11, 11-9, 6-11, 7-11, 11-4) to claim the title.

Matters finished in the Men’s Singles standing events, attention now turns to the Women’s Team competitions; proceedings conclude in Chang Mai on Saturday 22nd December.

2018 Thailand Para Open: Latest Results and Main Event Draws

Paralympics Para Table Tennis 2018 Thailand