02 Jun 2019

Surprise outcomes, France, Great Britain and Sweden provided the major surprises in the men’s team competitions at the 2019 Para Polish Open in Wladyslawowo on Saturday 1st June.

Contrary to expectations, not originally listed amongst the highly seeded outfits, at the conclusion of play, gold was the colour of the medal hung around the neck.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Representing Sweden, Niklas Westerberg and Jonas Hansson emerged the class 7 winners in a most impressive manner.

Notably at the semi-final stage they recorded a 2-0 win against the top seeds, the combination of the Czech Republic’s Daniel Horhut and Zbynek Lambert who lined up alongside Belgium’s Ben Despineux, prior securing victory in the final by the same margin in opposition to the top seeded Hong Kong pairing of Lee Ling Yip and Chen Silu.

The successful class 8 teams (Photo: Bogdan Pasek)


Likewise Great Britain’s Aaron McKibbin and Billy Shilton secured the class 8 title in the same vein. They registered a 2-0 win against the no.2 seeds, Slovakia’s Richard Csejtey and Belgium’s Marc Ledoux in the penultimate round, before repeating the success against Poland’s Macin Skrzynecki and Pior Grudzien to claim the top prize.

“I’m really happy to have won gold. It was great to do it with Aaron and to continue our doubles form from Slovenia. I felt that it was a bit of a revenge win beating Ledoux as I was devastated when I lost to him in the final of the singles. I think my ball placement was better today and this allowed me to play the shots I needed to win the match. This tournament has been a breakthrough for me – after beating Emil (Andersson) in the singles yesterday it gave me a lot of confidence and I really believed in my ability from that point on. I am really excited now for my next competition.” Billy Shilton

“We played really well in the doubles in the final. It’s been great playing with Billy. he’s had a fantastic competition so I’m very happy for him as I feel he has put himself in the mix of qualifying for Tokyo. Personally I’m happy that I continued my form from Slovenia, winning all my singles matches against foreign players. I was disappointed to lose to Billy yesterday as it is normally a match I feel that I would win but we play against each other a lot and he has clearly hit another level out here which is fantastic for him and for the team as a whole. I’m happy that I have put myself in a good position to qualify for Tokyo now having lost only two matches in my last two competitions but I just want to keep pushing and not be satisfied with how things have gone.” Aaron McKibbin

The class 8 podium (Photo: Bogdan Pasek)


Success against the top seeds in the final, it was the same in class 9-10 for Mateo Boheas and Gilles Bourdonnaye of France. After recording a 2-0 semi-final success against Italy’s Mohamed Amine Kalem and Lorenzo Cordua, a 2-1 win in opposition to Spain’s Juan Bautista Perez and Jorge Cardona sealed the title.

Wins very much contrary to status and there was one more but less unexpected. The no.2 seeds, Serbia’s Goran Perlic and Poland’s Tomasz Jakimczuk secured the class 1-2 title. At the final hurdle they accounted for the top seeded combination of Frenchman Fabien Lamirault and Switzerland’s Sylvio Keller; a 2-1 margin of victory was the outcome.

The successful teams in class 1-2 (Photo: Bogdan Pasek)


Otherwise in the men’s team events, the top seeds prevailed. Germany’s Thomas Brüchle and Thomas Schmidberger claimed the class 3 title; Poland’s Rafal Lis and Krszysztof Zylka prevailed in class 4, Turkey’s Nesim Turan and Ali Ozturk emerged the class 5 champions.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Alvaro Valera and Alberto Seoane struck gold in class 6, the combination of Hungary’s Peter Palos and Venezuela’s Denisos Martinez emerged the class 11 winners.

The medallists in men’s team class 6 (Photo: Bogdan Pasek)


Play concluded in Wladyslawowo, attention now turns Cancun in Mexico; the Para Copa Cristina Hoffmann 2019 tournament commences on Wednesday 5th June and concludes on Friday 7th June.

2019 Para Polish Open: Latest results and main draws

Paralympics Para Table Tennis Nicklas Westerberg

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