by Ian Marshall, Editor
Competing in class 7, Will Bayley, the top seed and gold medallist at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, experienced defeat by the very narrowest of margins at the hands of Sweden’s Nicklas Westerberg (11-5, 3-11, 4-11, 11-5, 12-10).
Similarly but not quite in such a dramatic fashion, in class 8, Ross Wilson, the reigning World and Commonwealth Games champion, the no.2 seed, was beaten by Ukraine’s Maksym Nikolenko (11-8, 10-12, 11-6, 12-10).
Tokyo the goal
Conversely, in class 6, David Wetherill accounted for Spain’s Alvaro Valera, the top seed and defending champion (5-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-6).
“It’s good but it is only a quarter-final. He went 1-0 up but I still felt relaxed. When you walk into a cave and poke the bear you don’t come out alive and I think losing the first was quite good for me. I still feel like I am working my way into the tournament; I’m so rusty but I feel that I am getting better and better and feel comfortable on the table. We’ll see what happens tomorrow; it puts me in a good position for Tokyo and that is the only reason I am here, to qualify for Tokyo next year.” David Wetherill.
Success against the odds for David Wetherill, it was the same in class 4 for Rafal Lis; he ousted Frenchman Maxime Thomas, the no.2 seed and the winner two years ago when the tournament was staged in Lasko, Slovenia. Similar to the efforts of Nicklas Westerberg it was success by the minimal margin (11-5, 11-13, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9).
Defeat for Maxime Thomas and there was a close call for his colleague, Fabien Lamirault in class 2; the top seed, the reigning Paralympic Games and World champion, he lost the opening two games against Spain’s Iker Sastre, before recovering to win the next three in some style (7-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-1).
Nadejda Pushpasheva recovers
Meanwhile, in the women’s singles events, matters went very much according to seeding; the player to note being Russia’s Nadejda Pushpasheva, the winner of the class 1-2 title two years ago in Lasko.
After a somewhat disastrous opening day, when she lost to both Serbia’s Ana Prulovic (11-13, 11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 11-8) and Isabelle Lafaye of France (11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9), she recovered to beat Femke Cobben of the Netherlands (11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6). A group organised event, she now meets Italy’s Giadi Rossi, the top seed and hitherto unbeaten in her concluding contest.
Play in the men’s singles and women’s singles events concludes on Wednesday 18th September.
2019 ITTF European Para Championships: Latest Draws and Results