24 Jul 2019

Places on the podium at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, in the men’s singles events at the 2019 Asian Para Championships in Taichung, when play concluded on Wednesday 24th July, gold medallists in the Brazilian city, China’s Feng Panfeng and Cao Ningning, were very much on course to reserve places next year in Tokyo as was bronze medal winning colleague Yan Shuo.

Likewise, the aspirations of Korea Republic’s silver medallist, Joo Youngdae and Thailand's bronze medallist, Rungroj Thainiyom, were very much alive but there was one notable casualty, silver medallist Guo Xingguan, also from China, will need to find a different route to the Japanese capital city.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Competing in class 4, Guo Xingguan experienced a quarter-final exit; he was beaten by colleague Shi Yanping, (11-3, 11-4, 11-9). At the semi-final stage Shi Yanping meets Thailand’s Wanchai Chaiwut; Korea Republic’s Kim Younggun opposes China’s Zhang Yan.

Somewhat differently, in class 1, Joo Youngdae, is through to the final where he plays colleague Kim Hyeonuk; similarly in class 3 Feng Panfeng opposes compatriot, Zhai Xiang in the title decider.

Two steps more

Finalists known, for Cao Ningning there are still two further steps to negotiate; in the penultimate round, he meets Indonesia’s Tatok Hardiyanto. In the opposite half of the draw, Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Ming-Chih confronts China’s Liu Fu.

It is a similar situation for Rungroj Thainiyom and for Yan Shuo. In class 6 at the semi-final stage Rungroj Thainiyom meets China’s Chen Chao, DPR Korea’s Jon Ju Hyon opposes Huang Jiaxin, also from China. In class 7 Yan Shuo faces Thailand’s Charlermpong Punpoo, colleague Liao Keli opposes Japan’s Katsuyoshi Yagi.

Top seeds

Prominent names on course, it is the same in class 8, China’s Zhao Shuai is through to the semi-final stage as is Japan’s Koyo Iwabuchi in class 9, Indonesia’s David Jacobs in class 10 and Korea Republic’s Kim Gitae in class 11. All occupy the top seeded places.

Progress as anticipated but on the second day of play there was one major casualty in the men’s singles events. In class 2, Korea Republic’s Cha Sooyong, the top seed, experienced a semi-final defeat at the hands of compatriot, Kang Changyoung (9-11, 11-9, 4-11, 13-11, 11-9); at the final hurdle Kang Changyoung faces Park Jincheol also from Korea Republic.

Problems for Seo Suyeon

Meanwhile, in the women’s singles event, China’s Liu Jing, Zhang Bian, Mao Jingdian and Liu Meng, all gold medallists in Rio de Janeiro are very much in the line for a place in Tokyo, as are silver medallists Li Qian and Zhang Miao. Also, for bronze medallist, Korea Republic’s Kim Seongok, the door is wide open but not for compatriot and silver medallist Seo Suyeon.

On duty in class 1-2, the only event organised on a group principle, she was beaten by Thailand’s Chilchitarayak Bootswansirina (13-11, 12-10, 11-4). One match in the group remains; she faces Liu Jing, hitherto unbeaten and the player against who she experienced defeat in the Rio 2016 gold medal contest.

Revenge in the air, it is the same in class 3, in the title decider Li Qian meets Korea Republic’s Lee Migyu, the player against whom she experienced defeat in the group stage (11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 14-12).

Exacting contests

A testing contest a Rio medallist, it is the same for the finals in class 4 and class 5; in all Chinese affairs, in the former Zhang Miao meets Zhou Ying, in the latter Zhang Bian opposes Pan Jiamin.

Exacting times, it is no different in class 7; in the final Kim Seongok faces China’s Wang Rui. Meanwhile, in all Chinese finals, in class 8 Mao Jingdian plays Huang Wenjuan, in class 9 Xiong Guiyan faces Liu Meng. Mao Jingdian and Xiong Guiyan each occupy the top seeded position.

Defeat for top name

Progress for the top seeds, it is the same in class 6 as it is in class 11 but not in class 10. In class 6, in the final Korea Republic’s Lee Kunwoo meets Iraq’s Najlam Al-Bayyeni; in class 11, Hong Kong’s Ng Mui Wui faces Japan’s Maki Ito.

However, in class 10, there is no place in the gold medal contest for China’s Fan Lei; at the semi-final stage she was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Tian Shiau-Wen, in the gold medal contest Tian Shiau-Wen meets China’s Zhao Xiaojing, the no.2 seed.

The individual events in Taichung conclude on Thursday 25th July.

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