24 Jan 2020

Competition is intense in the Portuguese town of Gondomar as teams seek places in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games; across the Atlantic Ocean approaching some 7,000 miles to the south west, from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th January, the tension will just as acute.

The 2020 Chile Para Open takes place in Santiago; titles at stake but more significantly valuable ranking points to qualify to for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Each class at the Paralympic Games has a quota of players, on Tuesday 31st March according to the world rankings, a further 72 men and 38 women will gain places in the respective men’s singles and women’s singles events in Tokyo.

Precious points at stake, notable names from Europe appear on the men’s singles entry list, players who have enjoyed success at the Paralympic Games but as yet have not reserved their places in the Japanese city.

Top seeded names

Spain’s José Manuel Ruiz and Jorge Cardona travel from Spain, they are the top seeded names in class 10.

Notably together they were silver medallists in men’s team class 9-10 in Rio de Janeiro and four years earlier bronze medallists in London. Furthermore at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, in class 10 José Manuel Ruiz secured both men’s singles silver and men’s team bronze.

Likewise, bronze medallist in men’s team class 4-5 in London, Frenchman Nicolas Savant-Aira in the top seed in class 4-5; Belgium’s Mark Ledoux, men’s singles class 8 silver medal winner in 2004 in Athens, is the no.2 seed in class 8, behind Frenchman, Thomas Bouvais.

Paralympic Games feel

However, if there is one men’s singles event in Santiago that has the Paralympic Games feel, it is class 7; Brazil’s Israel Stroh is the top seed followed by Germany’s Jochen Wollmert and Frenchman Stéphane Messi.

Four years ago in Rio de Janeiro, Israel Stroh was the silver medallist; Stéphane Messi was a men’s team bronze medallist in class 6-8 in 2008, in 2000 in class 6-7 a men’s team silver medallist and men’s singles bronze medallist.

Exceptional player

Notable performances but none and that means none in the whole Paralympic sphere can compete with Jochen Wollmert.

  • 1992 Barcelona – bronze men’s singles class 7 and men’s team class 8
  • 1996 Atlanta – gold men’s team class 6-8, silver men’s singles class 7
  • 2000 Sydney – gold men’s singles class 7
  • 2004 Athens – gold men’s team class 6-7, silver men’s singles class 7
  • 2008 Beijing – gold men’s singles class 7
  • 2012 London – gold men’s singles class 7

A strong European presence, it is the same in men’s singles class 9, seeking his first Paralympic Games medal, Sweden’s Daniel Gustafsson is the top seed.

Host nation

Meanwhile, for the host nation, yet to win Paralympic Games medals, Luis Bustamente and Tamara Leonelli are very much the players on who eyes focus.

Luis Bustamente is the top seed in men’s singles class 1-3, Tamara Leonelli in women’s singles class 2-5; in the one further women’s singles event, Japan’s Nozomi Takeuchi is the leading name in class 7-10.

Tamara Leonelli has already qualified for Tokyo, for Luis Bustamente and Nozomo Takeuchi valuable ranking points are at stake.

2020 Chile Para Open: Draw and Results

Paralympics Para Table Tennis 2020 Chile Para Open Jose Manuel Ruiz Stéphane Messi Jochen Wollmert Marc Ledoux Jorge Cardona Isreal Stroh

No results found.