// German and French pairs as expected but surprise names claim team gold - International Table Tennis Federation

Tournaments

17 Mar 2019

Frenchmen Fabien Lamirault and Stéphane Molliens emerged successful as the team events concluded on Saturday 15th March at the 2019 Para Lignano Open. It was as their top seeded status advised; likewise it was the same for the German combination of Thomas Schmidberger and Thomas Brüchle.

Fabien Lamirault and Stéphane Molliens won class 2, Thomas Schmidberger and Thomas Brüchle secured class 3 gold. However, as the wheelchair categories in the men’s team competition came to a conclusion, they were the only pairs to justify their position as favourites.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Against the odds, the Korea Republic duo formed by Park Sungjoo and Kim Hakjin secured the men’s team class 1 title, in class 4 Thailand’s Wanchai Chaiwut and Nyom Nachai claimed gold; whilst in class 5 the combination formed by Great Britain’s Jack Hunter-Spivey and Germany’s Jörg Didion emerged the victors.

The biggest of the three surprises was the success gained by Park Sungjoo and Kim Hakjin. Not named amongst the higher seeded pairs, they accounted for the combination of Switzerland’s Sylvio Keller and Russia’s Dimitry Lavrov to secure the title, recording a 2-0 win.

Thus they reversed the result of the previous day, when in the group phase the Korea Republic pair had experienced a 2-1 defeat. Park Sungjoo and Kim Hakjin duly finished the group in first place ahead of Sylvio Keller and Russia’s Dimitry Lavrov; top seeds, Great Britain’s Rob Davies, Paul Davies and Tom Matthews having to settle for third position and thus elimination.

Rather differently the gold medal clinched by Wanchai Chaiwut and Nyom Nachai, was less an upset; they commenced play in the no.3 seeded spot. At the final hurdle they recorded a 2-1 win in opposition to the no.2 seeds, the Slovakian combination of Peter Mihalik, Boris Travnicek and Andrej Meszaros, having in the penultimate round ousted top seeds, Poland’s Rafal Lis and Krszytof Zylke. Notably for Wanchai Chaiwut it was his second title of the tournament; the previous day he had won the men’s singles class 4 event.

Similarly for Britain’s Jack Hunter-Spivey and Jörg Didion, success was no great upset; the no.2 seeds, in the final they beat the latter’s colleagues Valentin Baus and Jan Guertler, the top seeds, t0 claim gold. A 2-0 outcome was the verdict.

“Winning gold is a great way to end a good start to the year for me, beating some very good teams in the process. I’m happy with the level I’ve played this competition and proved a lot to myself but I also know I can play so much better this year.” Jack Hunter-Spivey

Matters concluded in Lignano, the next stop on the Para tournament calendar is Platja d’Aro; the Para Costa Brava Spanish Open commences on Wednesday 20th March.

Lignano Masters Open: Draw and Full Results

Paralympics Para Table Tennis Thomas SCHMIDBERGER Fabien Lamirault Stéphane Molliens Thomas Brüchle
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