10 May 2019

Required to settle for silver at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and at the 2018 World Para Championships, on Thursday 9th May at the Para Thermana Lasko Slovenia Open 2019, it was one step higher for Spain’s Alvaro Valera.

Gold medallist at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, the 36 year secured the men’s singles class 6 title

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The top seed, at the final hurdle he beat Great Britain’s Paul Karabardak, the no.6 seed (11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7), the player who in the second round had caused a major upset. Most impressively, the Welshman had beaten Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier, the no.2 seed (11-1, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7), the player against whom Alvaro Valera had experienced defeat in both the World and Paralympic Games finals.

“Losing the final was disappointing but I’m really pleased to have won silver.” Paul Karabardak.

Success for the top seed in class 6, it was the same in class 8 and class 9; Ukraine taking the honours. In class 8, after accounting for Great Britain’s Ross Wilson, the no.3 seed and reigning world champion (11-5, 13-11, 11-7), Viktor Didukh overcame China’s Zhao Shuai, the no.2 seed and Rio 2016 gold medallist (8-11, 11-4, 8-11, 17-15, 11-6) to seal the title.

“It’s nice to be back playing again but I was disappointed with my performance in the semi-final. The overall performance in the competition was fine and hopefully I can build it up for the rest of the season.” Ross Wilson

Hard earned success for Viktor Didukh, it was only slightly less exacting in class 9 for Iurii Nozdrunov. At the semi-final stage he beat Sweden’s Daniel Gustafsson, the no.4 seed, before overcoming Italy’s Mohamed Amine Kalem, the no.3 seed, to secure gold (11-7, 14-12, 11-7), the penultimate round winner in opposition to Great Britain’s Josh Stacey (11-13, 11-6, 13-11, 11-6).

“Taking bronze in such a strong event has given me a lot of confidence. Against Kalem I felt I was always in with a good chance but he covered the table really well with the anti-spin and I struggled to deal with it at times. Overall I could have received a bit more positively and looked to attack with my forehand which would have put him on the back foot. He was the better player and I’m sure I’ll get the chance to play him again throughout the year to put those things right.” Josh Stacey

Gold for the top seeds, in class 8 and class 10, it was the top step of the podium for the no.2 seeds, Great Britain’s Will Bayley and Bulgaria’s Denislav Kodjabashev being the respective winners.

At the final hurdle Will Bayley accounted for Brazil’s Israel Pereira Stroh, the no.6 seed (8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8) the player against who the Englishman had lost in the group stage in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games but had then beaten in the gold medal contest.

“It feels amazing to win the biggest tournament I have every played with so many amazing players. I’m overwhelmed with happiness. I’m training so hard and now I have won two big tournaments from two this season so I think the training is paying off. All my matches were so close and it took all my skill to win this tournament so I’m very proud. Now I’m looking forward to playing team event with one of the legends of the game Jochen Wollmert.” Will Bayley

Impressive from Will Bayley, it was the same from Denislav Kodjabashev; at the final hurdle he overcame Spain’s José Manuel Reyes (11-8, 11-13, 14-12, 11-7) to secure the top prize.

Wins for the first and second seeds, in class 11 it was success for the no.3 seed; somewhat of a surprise. Frenchman Lucas Creange beat Belgium’s Florian Van Acker, the top seed, the current World and Paralympic Games champion to secure the top step of the podium. He won in five games (3-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-5, 11-8).

The team events now begin; play concludes in Lasko on Saturday 11th May.

Thermana Lasko Slovenia Para Open 2019: Latest results and main draws

Paralympics Para Table Tennis 2019 Thermana Lasko Para Slovenian Open Paul Karabardak Alvaro VALERA

No results found.