by Ian Marshall, Editor
The reason is not just that players wish to hone their skills by competing; the fact is for those not yet qualified for Tokyo, a total of 72 men and 28 women will gain places determined by the world ranking list current on Tuesday 31st March. A good performance in Platja d’Aro and the Japanese capital city could well be the destination.
Men’s singles winners last year, Frenchman Fabien Lamirault (class 2), Korea Republic’s Lim Kiyoung (class 5), Brazil Paulo Salmin (class 7) and Belgium’s Marc Ledoux (class 8) all appear on the entry list as do the names of the host nation’s Juan Perez (class 9), José Manuel Ruiz (class 10) and Eduard Cuesta (class 11).
Similarly in the women’s singles, Kelly Van Zon of the Netherlands (class 7) and Brazil Danielle Rauen (class 9) will all aiming to repeat last year’s success.
Good start to year
Notably both Marc Ledoux and José Manuel Ruiz can start proceedings with more than a degree of confidence; both won earlier this year in January in Chile. Also Luis Bustamente enjoyed success on home soil in Chile (class 1-3) as did Frenchman Nicolas Savant-Aira (class 4-5). Both appear on the Platja d’Aro entry list.
Likewise players who struck gold in Egypt in early February will be present. Thailand’s Anural Laowong (class 3), Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Ming-Chih (class 5) and Egypt’s Sayed Youssef (class 7) all compete in the men’s singles events in Platja d’Aro.
Three men’s gold medallists from Egypt on duty, the number is even greater for the women. India’s Bhavina Patel (class 3-4), Faiza Mahmoud who won on home soil (class 5) and Iran’s Najlah Al-Dayyeni (class 6) compete. Also entered is Chinese Taipei’s Tian Shiau-Wen (class 10) in addition to the Japanese duo of Sayuri Mio (class 10) and Yuri Tomono (class 11).
Players in form but if that is the subject look no further than Luis Bustamente and Nicolas Savant-Aira; in addition to their success in Chile, both won in Poland; Luis Bustamente in class 2, Nicolas Savant-Aira in class 5.
Furthermore, present in Platja d’Aro, in Poland there was also success for Ireland’s Colin Judge (class 3) and Great Britain’s Josh Stacey (class 9) alongside Frenchmen Alexandre Delarque (class 5) and Gilles de la Bourdonnaye (class 10).
In a similar vein for the women, on duty in Costa Brava, there was gold on home turf for Katarzyna Marszal (class 6), as there was for Turkey’s Neslihan Kavas (class 9) and Merve Demir (class 10).
Overall 146 men and 75 women will compete in Platja d’Aro.
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