03 Jun 2021

Silver medallist in women’s team class 1-3 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games alongside Croatian colleague Andela Muzinic, Helena Dretar made her intentions clear on the opening day of play, Thursday 3rd June, at the Paralympic World Qualification Tournament in Lasko.

An unequivocal message, she intends to be present later this year in Tokyo.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Competing in class 3, she concluded her initial phase group matches unbeaten to reserve her place in the main draw.

The top seed, she justified her status, as did Argentina’s Giselle Muñoz (class 7) and Korea Republic’s Kim Kun Kunhea (class 9); all secured main draw places without blemish.

Similarly, organised on a group basis with two matches still to play, Hungary’s Zsofia Arloy (class 8) ended the day unbeaten as with one contest in the initial group stage remaining, as did Chinese Taipei’s Liu Pi-Chun (class 4) and Turkey’s Merve Demir (class 10).

Success for top seeded players in the women’s events but there were casualties, the most notable being Korea Republic’s Kang Oejeong (class 5), bronze medallist in women’s team class 4-5 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. After accounting for Serbia’s Biljana Ubovic (11-7, 11-4, 11-9), she was beaten by Thailand’s Parwas Sringam (11-4, 10-11, 11-5, 11-4).

Likewise, Femke Cobben of the Netherlands (class 1-3) and Poland’s Katarzyna Marszal (class 6) experienced defeats.

Femke Cobben was beaten by Finland’s Aino Tapola (11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9) in her only match of the day; Katarzyna Marszal by Romania’s Gabriela Constantin (11-5, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 14-12). A testing day for Katarzyna Marszal, in her previous match, she had succeeded in an equally close margin when opposing Iraq’s Najih Al Dayyeni (12-10, 11-9, 10-12, 8-11, 12-10). Notably, like Parwas Sringam, Gabriela Constantin ended the day unbeaten.

Problems for top seeds but in events where players finishing in first and second positions advance to the main draw, one defeat is not the end of the road. However, two defeats signal the end of the line in class 11, that is the scenario.

Japan’s Maki Ito, the top seed, lost to both Lea Fernoy of France (11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7) and Turkey’s Ebru Acer (12-10, 9-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-2); Poland’s Dorota Nowacka, the second seed, was beaten by the Czech Republic’s Denisa Macurova (6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6) and by Russia’s Maria Galkina (12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8).

One match for each player remaining in each group, Ebru Acer and Lea Ferney both remained unbeaten as did Maria Galinka and Denisa Macurova. They are guaranteed main draw places.

Play continues on Friday 4th June.

Paralympic World Qualification Tournament Results (3rd June):

General News Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Helena Dretar

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