08 Mar 2020

Success for the combination of Frenchman Gilles de la Bourdonnaye and Russia’s Iuri Nozdrunov, the second seeds but of the leading outfits in men’s team class 9-10, they were the only partnership to emerge unscathed at the Costa Brava Spanish Para Open 2020 in Platja d'Aro on Saturday 7th March.

There was defeat for Great Britain’s Joshua Stacey and Ashley Facey-Thompson, the no.3 seeds but the biggest casualty was the demise of the top seeds, the host nation’s Jorge Cardona and Marlon Lopez.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Jorge Cardona and Marlon Lopez, missing the services of José Manuel Ruiz, had to settle for third place in their group; thus it was elimination, journey’s end.

The combination of Poland’s Igor Misztal and Italy’s Lorenzo Cordua concluded matters in top spot ahead of the Netherlands combination of Bas Hegerlink and Bart van der Zanden.

Rather differently it was second place and this progress to the main draw for Joshua Stacey and Ashley Facey-Thompson. They experienced a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the outfit formed by Australia’s Ma Lin and Montenegro’s Luka Bakic. Ma Lin and Luka Bakic duly remained unbeaten to top the group.

Problems for notable combinations

Second place behind the unbeaten group winners for the British pair, they were not alone in the men’s team event, other seeded pairs experienced problems.

In class 5, the two leading teams both had to settle for runners up spot. The top seeded Chinese Taipei combination of Cheng Ming-Chih, Lin Wei-Hsin and Lin Yen-Hung experienced a 2-1reverse when confronting the pairing of Germany’s Jan Guertler and Japan’s Kentaro Doi; by the same margin, the Korea Republic pairing of Kim Kiyoung and Kim Kyungyoung lost to the outfit formed by Croatia’s Tomislav Spalj and Turkey’s Hamza Caliskan.

First place in the group for Hamza Caliskan in partnership with Tomislav Spalj (Photo: Antonio Alvarez Luengo)


Meanwhile, in class 3-4, the top seeded French pair of Fabien Lamirault and Alexandre Delarque remained unbeaten but Slovakia’s Peter Mihalik and Boris Travnicek, the no.2 seeds, suffered a 2-0 defeat against the pairing of Ireland’s Colin Judge and Italy’s Matteo Orsi. Thus runners up spot was their lot.

Similarly, in class 6-7, the team formed by Japan’s Masachika Inoue and Belgium’s Ben Despineux, the top seeds, secured first place in their group; conversely for the no.2 seeds, Croatia’s Pavao Jozic and Russia’s Mars Gabdullin it was a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Poland’s Maksym Chudzicki and Michal Diegsler.

Defeat but except for Jorge Cardona and Marlon Lopez; alongside the teams who proved their undoing, all are through to the knock -out stage.

Prominent outfits undefeated

Surprises amongst the leading men’s teams, not in class 1, class 8, nor in class 11 where there were two groups in the initial stage.

In class 1, Poland’s Rafal Czuper and Tomasz Jakimczuk, the top seeds, reserved first place, as did the next in the order of merit, the outfit formed by the Czech Republic’s Jiri Suchanek who joined forces with the Russia’s Rasul Navirov and Dmitry Lavrov.

Progress as expected for Rafal Czuper alongside Tomasz Jakimczuk (Photo: Antonio Alvarez Luengo)


Likewise in class 8, the top seeds, Belgium’s Marc Ledoux and Great Britain’s Billy Shilton secured first place in their group as did the no.2 seeds, the partnership formed by Hungary’s Andras Csonksa and Slovakia’s Richard Csejtey. In class 11, the pair at the head of the order Belgium’s Florian van Acker and Korea Republic’s Jeong Kyuyoung remained unbeaten to reserve first place; a situation that applied also to Japan’s Taskeshi Takemori and Takashi Asano, the no.2 seeds.

Polish duo hit form

Surprises in the men’s team event, in the women’s the situation was much less prevalent; class 11 witnessing the upsets.

Administered on a group basis, Krystyna Lysiak and Dorota Nowacka beat Russia’s Anzhelika Kosacheva and Maria Galkina, the top seeds, a 2-0 result being the outcome. Later they recorded a 2-1 success in opposition to Japan’s Kanami Furakawa and Maki Ito, the no.2 seeds. Krystyna Lysiak and Dorota Nowacka ended the day the only unbeaten team in the group.

A successful day for Dorota Nowacka in partnership with Krystyna Lysiak (Photo: Antonio Alvarez Luengo)


Otherwise in the women’s team events, it was progress for the leading lights. In class 2-3, the combination of Croatia’s Helena Dretar and India’s Bhavina Patel, the top seeds remained unbeaten as did Great Britain’s Sue Gilroy and Megan Shackleton.

Likewise in group staged  competitions, in class 6-8 and in class 9-10, the respective top two pairs ended the day unscathed. In the former Poland’s Dajana Jastrzebska and Katarzyna Marszal remained unbeaten as did their main rivals, the pairing formed by Italy’s Yuri Tomono and Italy’s Elena Elli. In the latter it was the same for the Australian trio of Melissa Tapper, Yang Qian and Lei Lina, a situation that applied also to Chinese Taipei’s Tiau Shiau-Wen and Lin Tzu-Yu, the no.2 seeds.

Play in Platja d’Aro concludes on Sunday 8th March.

Paralympics Para Table Tennis 2020 Costa Brava Para Open Gilles de la Bourdonnaye Iuri Nozdrunov

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