15 Oct 2021

Titles decided on Friday 15th October in the individual events at the ITTF Costa Brava Spanish Para Open 2021 in Platja d’Aro; amongst the list of winners, there were no shortages of surprise names.

In fact, in the women’s singles events, not one top seeded player claimed gold.

by Ian Marshall

Alexandra Saint Pierre of France was the unexpected winner in class 2-5. Notably having beaten Femke Cobben of the Netherlands, the top seed, in the group stage (11-8, 11-3, 11-9), she maintained her form to secure the title at the final expense of Russia’s Anastasia Puzanova (11-6, 14-12, 11-7).

Similarly, in class 6, administered on a group basis; in the vital concluding match, both players hitherto unbeaten, Great Britain’s Fliss Pickard, the no.2 seed, recovered from a two games to nil deficit against Poland’s Katarzyna Marszal, the top seed, to claim gold (7-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-4).

“The singles tournament here has been good for me, especially to be here with the younger Pathway squad players and see their improvements. I feel I have shown that when I am in control of my base game I can beat anyone in the world and I need to try and go in at this level from 0-0. It is always nice to win gold – another little step to where I want to be. Now I can’t wait for the team event with my amazing partner Grace (Williams).” Fliss Pickard

A determined Fliss Pickard en route to women’s singles class 6 gold (Photo: Antonio Alvarez)


Success for the second seed against the top seed in the decisive contest, it was the same in class 7-10; at the final hurdle, Germany’s Marlene Reeg overcame Norway’s Aida Dahlen (12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3).

Repeat success

Likewise, in the men’s singles event, Spain’s Miguel Angel Toledo and Andre Cepas, alongside Frenchman Esteban Herrault, emerged unexpected gold medallists.

Notably for both Spaniards, it was repeat success.

Competing in class 1-2, in the group phase Miguel Angel Toledo had beaten Frenchman Julien Michaud, the no.3 seed, in straight games (11-9, 12-10, 11-6); later after ousting Benoît Besset, the top seed and also from France (11-5, 11-7, 11-9), he repeated the earlier success.

Once again he overcame Julien Michaud without surrendering a single game (11-7, 11-5, 12-10).

Similarly, in class 9 Ander Cepas caused France problems. He accounted for Lucas Didier, the no.3 seed in the group stage (11-7, 11-8, 12-10), before doing the same again in the final (12-10, 11-5, 11-5).

Moreover, Lucas Didier was a player in form; at the semi-final stage he had ousted, Juan Perez, the top seed and like Ander Cepas from Spain (11-6, 11-9, 4-11, 12-10).

Disappointment for France but to some extent Esteban Herrault balanced the books. On duty in class 6, first place in his group courtesy of success in opposition to Russia’s Mars Gabdullin, the no.3 seed (7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-2), he claimed the title at the hands of Spain’s Alberto Seoane, the top seed (6-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-6, 11-9).

Status justified

Surprises but there were six players who emerged winners as their top seeded position predicted.

Maksym Chudzicki, the men’s singles class 7 winner (Photo: Antonio Alvarez)


Spain’s Roberto Rodrigues won class 3, Norway’s Tommy Urhaug class 4-5. Similarly, Poland’s Maksym Chudzicki and Igor Misztal justified their status. Maksym Chudzicki emerged successful in class 7, Igor Misztal in class 10.

Meanwhile, not to be left out, Belgium’s Marc Ledoux struck gold in class 8, Peter Palos in class 11.

Team events now follow, play concludes on Saturday 16th October.


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