by Ian Marshall
National team selections earlier in the year directed towards Tokyo, the ITTF Costa Brava Spanish Para Open 2021 provides opportunities for aspiring players to savour the international scene.
Notably Great Britain’s Andrew Green and Andrew Guy, members of the Pathway squad, make their debuts.
New names but make no mistake, most worthy names appear on the entry list; those who have enjoyed success on the greatest stage of all.
Hungary’s Peter Palos, gold medallist in men’s singles class 11 at both the London 2012 and more recent Tokyo 2016 Paralympic Games, competes as does Spain’s Jorge Cardona and colleague Juan Perez.
At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, alongside José Ruiz, they secured silver in men’s team class 9-10.
Similarly, Belgium’s Marc Ledoux and Norway’s Tommy Urhaug are on duty.
Amongst a host of other achievements, Tommy Urhaug secured men’s singles class 5 gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, eight years earlier in Athens, Marc Ledoux joined forces with Mathieu Loicq and Nico Vergeylen to claim the men’s team class 8 title.
Medallists Paralympic Games present in Platja d’Aro, it is the same for the women; the names of Norway’s Aida Dahlen and Poland’s Katarzyna Marszal appear on the entry list.
In Tokyo, Aida Dahlen was a bronze medallist in women’s singles class 8; Katarzyna Marszal gold medallist in 2016 in Rio in women’s team class 6-10 alongside Natalia Partyka and Karolina Pek.
Overall, a total of 131 athletes from 16 member associations are scheduled to compete; there are 34 players named in the wheelchair category (classes 1-5) and 97 in the standing events (classes 6-11). Class 11 is for those with an intellectual disability.