10 Nov 2021

Staged in Voisins les Bretonneux, on the opening day of action, Tuesday 9th November, at the ITTF SQY French Para Open 2021, when the curtain closed, the host nation had good reason to celebrate.

Prominent names established their authority; more pertinently, somewhat new to the international stage, colleagues made their presence felt.

by Ian Marshall

Alexandra Saint Pierre and Morgan Cailland very much set the example; both commenced the day as the lowest rated players in their opening phase women’s singles groups. Both ended the day unbeaten in top spot.

In class 4-5, Alexandra Saint Pierre finished ahead of Korea Republic’s Moon Sunghae, Nigeria’s Chineye Obiora, the no.2 seed, and India’s Ushabahen Rathod.

Likewise, in class 6, Morgen Caillaud maintained an unblemished record. Sweden’s Emile Endre, Poland’s Barbara Jablonka and Romania’s Gabriela Constantin, the no.3 seed, finished next in line.

Similar scenario

Success contrary to expectations for members of the French women’s team, it was the same for their male counterparts.

Competing in class 2, Julien Michaud beat Poland’s Tomasz Jakimczuk, the top seed (11-8, 11-13, 11-13, 4-11, 11-5) to secure first place in his group, Sebastien Brun accounted for French colleague Vincent Boury, the no.3 seed (11-8, 13-11, 11-3) to reserve pole position.

It was the only defeat for Tomasz Jakimczuk and for Vincent Boury; thus, second place and progress to the main draw was achieved.

Excelled expectations

Following suit, in class 3, Yorick Adjal finished unbeaten in top spot in his group as in class 4, did Emeric Martin and Esteban Herrault in class 6. All three Frenchman excelled expectations.

Yorick Adjal, the lowest listed in his initial phase group, beat Nigeria’s Ahmed Koleosho, the no.3 seed (8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-3); Emeric Martin overcame Slovakia’s Peter Mihalik, likewise the no.3 seed (11-6, 10-12, 12-10, 11-4).

Not to be overshadowed, Esteban Herrault accounted for Japan’s Kazuki Scichino, the no.2 seed (8-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6),

Problems for Ahmed Koleosho, Peter Mihalik and Kazuki Scichino but their only defeats of the day, therefore runners up spots and second phase places.

According to status

First places against the odds for host nation players; there were also top spots according to predictions.

Lucie Hautière, the no.2 seed, secured top spot in her women’s singles class 7-8 group as in the men’s events, did Benoît Besset and Clément Berthier in class 8, both no.2 seeds.

Likewise, occupying the top seeded position, it was first place for François Juliens in class 3, as well as in class 3 for Lucas Didier.

Unexpected group winners

French names causing surprises, in the men’s events Great Britain’s Alexander Bland, Nigeria’s Francis Chukwuemeka and Poland’s Pawel Wlodyka alongside Korea Republic’s Kim Gitae joined the party; all ended the day unexpected group winners.

On duty in class 7, Alexander Bland beat Slovakia’s Tomas Valuch, the no.4 seed (11-6, 11-5, 10-12, 13-11), in class 9 Francis Chukwuemeka accounted for Germany’s Yannick Ruddenklau, the no.2 seed (11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6).

Meanwhile, in class 10, Pawel Wlodyka beat Nigeria’s Alabi Olufemi, the no.4 seed (11-7,6-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7) prior to recording a quarter-final success in opposition to Frenchman Julien Gigolotii (12-14, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7).

Surprise success for Pawel Wlodyka, it was in the same vein for Kim Gitae; in class 11 he accounted for Frenchman, Lucas Creange, the no.2 seed (12-10, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8).

Play in the individual events concludes on Wednesday 10th November, the day on which the team competition commences.

General News Para Table Tennis ITTF SQY French Para Open 2021

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