by Ian Marshall, Editor
Competing in men’s singles class 1-2, Luis Bustamente Flores justified his top-seeded position to overcome Spain’s Iker Sastre, the no.3 seed (11-8, 13-11, 11-5), the player who at the semi-final stage had doused the hopes of the host nation by beating Jiri Suchanek, the no.2 seed (8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9).
The situation for Maximiliano Rodriguez Avila was rather different; he was the exception to the rule. Not seeded, the 30-year-old beat the Czech Republic’s Jiri Zak, the no.2 seed (11-8, 15-13, 11-5), to repeat the success of day one when he had accounted for the host nation player in the group stage (11-9, 11-7, 5-11, 12-10).
At the semi-final stage, Jiri Zak had ended the hopes of Cristian Gonzalez Astete (11-9, 5-11, 3-11) the top seed and like Maximiliano Rodriguez Avila from Chile.
Second seeds prevail
A surprise outcome in the men’s events, the Czech Republic’s Petr Svatos, Romania’s Bobi Simion, and Germany’s Björn Schnake all caused minor surprises; all started proceedings as the second seeds.
In a group organised class 3 event, Petr Svatos beat Serbia’s Mladen Ciric, the top seed, in the crucial contest to claim gold (11-8, 6-10, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9). Somewhat similarly, in class 6, at the final hurdle Bobi Simion overcame Spain’s Alvaro Valera, the top seed (9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 14-16, 11-7).
Rather differently, in class 7, Germany’s Björn Schnake turned the tables. In the group stage he lost to Slovakia’s Tomas Valuch (11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9), in the final the defeat was avenged (11-4, 4-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4). Earlier on the second day of action, Björn Schnake had ousted Spain’s Jordi Morales, the top seed (11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-5).
Titles for top seeds
Otherwise, the top seeds prevailed. Hungary’s Andras Csonka secured the class 8 title beating Belgium’s Marc Ledoux, the no.2 seed in the final (10-12, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7).
Defeat for Belgium but in the guise of Laurens Devos, in class 9-10 it was gold. The leading name on duty, on the opening day he beat the Czech Republic’s Tibor Chmela (11-5, 11-7, 11-7, 12-10); one day later, Devos repeated the success in the final, only this time more convincingly, winning in straight games (11-4, 11-4, 11-8). At the semi-final stage, Tibor Chmela had ended the hopes of colleague Ivan Karabec, the top seed (8-11, 13-11, 11-4, 16-14).
Success for Laurens Devos as anticipated; it was the same in class 11 for Hungary’s Peter Palos, who secured the title at the final expense of Spain’s Eduardo Cuesta, the no.2 seed ( 11-5, 10-12, 11-9, 11-5).
Leading women claim gold
Gold secured by leading male players; in the women’s singles, all three titles finished in the hands of the top seeds.
Serbia’s Zorica Popadic beat Chile’s Tamara Leonelli, the no.2 seed (11-6, 11-13, 11-6, 11-6) to win the class 3-5 title; in a likewise vein, Hungary’s Alexa Svitacs overcame Romania’s Ioana-Monica Tepelea (11-6, 11-5, 11-9) to be crowned the class 6-10 champion.
Not to be outdone, Turkey’s Ebru Acer donned the class 11 crown after emerging victorious over colleague Sumeyra Turk (12-10, 11-1, 16-14).
Team events now follow, play concludes on Saturday 3rd July.