by Ian Marshall
A class 1 athlete, resident in Brecon, South Wales, the 37-year-old has not competed on the international scene since winning his fourth consecutive European title in September 2019.
“It has been a while; I can’t wait to get the experience again of competing against someone the other side of the table and trying to beat them.” Rob Davies
Present in San José but somewhat a stepping stone; the focus is very much on next year’s World Para Championships.
“It was a huge disappointment not to be able to go to the Paralympics, but I definitely made the right choice for myself personally and for my health; I’m just excited about the future now rather than looking back on Tokyo. At the moment I‘m just taking it one step at a time and I’m just happy to be back on the table. Obviously, I’ve got to see how I can do but I’m excited to be competing again and we’ll see what happens. I’m looking forward to next year and the World championships; Paris is the new Paralympic goal.” Rob Davies
A long journey for the Welshman, it is very much the same for Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Pittiyage and Russia’s Anastasia Kostenevich.
Notably, Dinesh Pittiyage, who has represented Sri Lanka in able bodied events, won men’s singles class 9 gold in 2018 in Thailand.
Similarly, in 2020 in Poland, Anastasia Kostenevich was the silver medallist on women’s singles class 9.
Meanwhile, from rather closer, Chile’s Matias Pino and Tamara Leonelli are very much contenders for honours.
At the Toronto 2015 Para Pan American Games, Matias Pino won gold in men’s singles class 6, three years later at the Para Pan American Championships in Lima, Tamara Leonelli secured gold in women’s singles class 5.
Players on whom eyes will focus, one name in particular who will be the centre of attention is the host nation’s Steven Roman, at the 2017 Para Pan American Championships, significantly staged in San José, he won men’s singles class 8 gold.
Entries from a total of 66 men and 11 women have been received.
Countries represented are: Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Great Britain, Guatemala, Guyana, Peru, Puerto Rico, Russia, Sri Lanka and the United States.