by Ian Marshall, Editor
At the final hurdle he beat Brazil’s Israel Stroh (11-9, 11-9, 11-6), top seed and silver medallist at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, having at the semi-final stage ousted Germany’s Jochen Wollmert, the no.2 seed and men’s singles gold medallist in 2000 in Sydney as well as in 2008 in Beijing and the following year in London.
Alongside Belgium’s Marc Ledoux, Stéphane Messi was the only player, not top seeded, to claim gold on the second day of action in Santiago.
Winner last year in Poland, the runner in the Netherlands and a bronze medal in the Czech Republic, the no.2 seed, the 33 year old from La Louvière, beat Frenchman, Thomas Bouvais, the top seed (12-10, 11-6, 6-11, 10-12, 11-8) to secure the men’s singles class 8 title.
More success for France
France prominent, it was the same in men’s singles class 4-5, Nicolas Savant-Aira, emerged successful, at the final hurdle accounting for the host nation’s Cristian Gonzalez, the no.2 seed (11-1, 11-8, 11-8).
Disappointment for the host nation but there was success. Luis Bustamente Flores, gold medallist in 2019 at the Copa Tango in Buenos Aires and the Copa Christina Hoffman in Cancun, justified his top seeded position to secure the men’s singles class 3 title. At the final hurdle he overcame Brazil’s Iranildo Espindola, the no.2 seed (11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 13-11).
Gold for South America but the predominant force in Santiago was Europe. Additional to the success enjoyed by Belgium and France, there was gold for Spain and for Sweden.
In an all-Spanish men’s singles final, José Manuel Ruiz, the top seed, beat Jorge Cardona, the no.2 seed (11-8, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7); Daniel Gustafsson flew the Swedish flag, the top seed, he beat Brazil’s Lucas dos Santos, the no.2 seed (11-7, 11-3, 11-8) to claim the men’s singles class 9 title.
Success for Europe, there was also success for Asia; Japan’s Nozomi Takeuchi, the top seed beat Lucie Hautière of France, the no.2 seed (14-12, 11-5, 11-4) to seure the top prize in women’s singles class 7-10.
Play continues with the team events; proceedings conclude on Sunday 26th January.
2020 Chile Para Open: Draw and Results