by Ian Marshall, Editor
In an event dominated by the Korea Republic, after having overcome Frenchman, Fabien Lamirault, the top seed, the reigning World and Paralympic Games champion (11-6, 11-8, 12-10), Cha Sooyong accounted for Slovakia’s Martin Ludrovsky, the no.8 seed (11-6, 11-8, 11-8) and colleague Park Jincheol, the no.7 seed (11-7, 11-5, 11-8) to secure the title.
Success contrary to status, it was the same in class 3, class 4 and class 5 but to a much lesser extent; in each instance, the no.2 seed, emerged successful.
At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and at the 2018 World Para Championships, in class 3 it had been gold for China’s Feng Panfeng at the expense of Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger; at Para Thermana Lasko Slovenia Open 2019 it was no different. Feng Panfeng prevailed in five games (11-2, 12-10, 9-11, 10-12, 11-6) against the top seeded German.
Similarly, in class 4, Turkey Abdullah Ozturk, gold medallist in Rio de Janeiro once again secured the same colour medal. After overcoming Korea Republic’s Kim Younggun, the top seed, by the narrowest of margins (9-11, 11-1, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9), he accounted for Frenchman Maxime Thomas, the no.3 seed (12-10, 11-8, 11-13, 11-9) and Korea Republic’s Kim Junggil, the no.5 seed (11-6, 11-7, 11-5) to secure the top prize.
More gold, it was no different in class 5; the winner in 2012 in London, Norway’s Tommy Urhaug added to his list of titles. At the final hurdle, he beat Korea Republic’s Kim Kiyoung, the no.6 seed (11-5, 11-9, 11-4) and semi-final winner in opposition to China’s Cao Ningning, the top seed (12-10, 3-11, 11-5, 11-5).
Second seeds in the ascendancy, in class 1, the top seed prevailed. Korea Republic’s Joo Youndae secured the title overcoming Kim Hyeonuk in the final (11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6), the reigning world champion.
Notably, at the semi-final stage, by the very narrowest of margins Kim Hyeonuk accounted for Great Britain’s Rob Davies (11-8, 10-12, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10), the player who had beaten Joo Youndae in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games final.
“Like any sportsperson I’m never happy losing but I have lots to work on and I knew that before coming out here. I really enjoyed playing in the semi-final against the world champion; that’s why I’m still playing, those matches are the ones you want to be involved in. I will work hard to hopefully be on the other side of that result in Tokyo! There are a lot of positives to take from the event for me. I’ll get prepared for the team event now where I hope to get a chance to play some more of the top guys in my class.” Rob Davies
Play concludes in Lasko on Saturday 11th May.
Thermana Lasko Slovenia Para Open 2019: Latest results and main draws