26 Aug 2021

Maintaining focus in the heat of battle, Serbia’s Mitar Palikuca and Germany’s Valentin Baus emerged the players to attract the attention on the morning of Thursday 26th August, as matters progressed in men’s singles class 5 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Valentin Baus performed a quite stunning recovery, he fought back from a two games to nil deficit to beat Turkey’s Ali Ozturk (7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6).

by Ian Marshall

A most worthy effort but as status advised; in men’s class 5, Valentin Baus, 25 years old, is listed at no.2; Ali Ozturk, three years the senior is presently in the no.6 spot.

Conversely, the win recorded by 46 year old Mitar Palikuca in opposition to Norway’s 41 years of age, Tommy Urhaug was not necessarily to be expected. Mitar Palikuca is currently named at no.5 in the order of merit, Tommy Urhaug two places higher in the no.3 spot.

Both have enjoyed Paralympic Games success, in the same class as in Tokyo, Mitar Palikuca won bronze in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro; however, four years earlier, Tommy Urhaug had claimed gold in London.

In Tokyo, Mitar Palikuca prevailed in five games (12-10, 7-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8).

“It was a very difficult match, I had practised hard; I’m really not sure why I won, I just hope I can keep playing well. It was important to play with control and keep concentrating. I’m happy, it was a good win for me; sometimes you are up, sometimes down. I must add that everything here is very good.” Mitar Palikuca

Valentin Baus, having the previous day beaten Egypt’s Ayman Kamal Zenaty (11-7, 11-3, 11-1) is now confirmed in group first place and thus through to the main draw; Ali Ozturk now faces Ayman Kamal Zenaty to determine runners up spot.

Meanwhile, Mitar Palikuca opposes Argentina’s Mauro Depergola in the concluding group phase contest; on the opening day of play Mauro Depergola was beaten by Tommy Urhaug (11-4, 11-7, 11-6).

Players finishing in first and second positions in each group progress to the main draw.


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