Silver medallist in men’s singles class 2 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, beaten by Frenchman Fabien Lamirault (11-6, 12-14, 11-5, 6-11. 11-9), Poland’s Rafal Czuper turned the tables at the ITTF Costa Brava Spanish Para Open 2022.
In an equally close final, he recovered from a two games to nil deficit to post a five games success (13-15, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6).
Somewhat differently, colleague, Natalia Partyka experienced the same fate as six months earlier.
At the semi-final stage in the Japanese capital city, she had been beaten by Australia’s Li Qian in a full distance duel (11-7, 4-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9); in the final in Platja d’Aro it was little different (13-11, 9-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-6).
Success for Rafal Czuper, there was more success for Poland; in the men’s singles events, Rafal Lis beat Frenchman Alexandre Delarque (9-11, 11-3, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9) to secure the class 4 title, Igor Misztal emerged the class 10 winner. He upset the pecking order, accounting for Frenchman, Matteo Boheas (8-11, 11-8, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9) the leading name in action.
Three titles on the second day of play for Poland, it was the same for Great Britain. Ross Wilson donned the men’s singles class 8 crown accounting for Poland’s Piotr Grudzien in the final (11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8). Similarly, Joshua Stacey overcame the host nation’s Ander Cepas (11-3, 8-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-5) to emerge victorious in men’s singles class 9.
Not to be outdone by her male colleagues, Fliss Pickard emerged successful in women’s singles class 6; in the gold medal contest she proved too secure for Morgen Caillaud of France (8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-8).
France and Australia
Defeat at the final hurdle for France but there was success.
In the women’s singles, Alexandre St. Pierre claimed the class 4-5 title, overcoming Korea Republic’s Moon Sunghae in the final (13-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-6); Thu Kamkasomphu secured gold in class 7-8, she beat Kelly van Zon of the Netherlands in the title decider (12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-2).
Two French winners, it was the same for Australia; additional to Yang Qian, Lei Li Na won women’s singles class 9, overcoming Poland’s Karolina Pek in the final (11-5, 11-5, 11-13, 9-11, 12-10).
Top seeds win
A close call for Lei Li Na but gold as predicted, she commenced matters the top seed; in the women’s events it was the same for Croatia’s Andela Muzinic in class 3 and Turkey’s Ebru Acer in class 11.
At the final hurdle, Andela Muzinic beat Hatice Duman, like Ebru Acer from Turkey (11-8, 11-7, 11-8); Ebru Acer overcame Brazil’s Evelyn dos Santos (11-9, 11-8, 11-9).
Similarly, in the men’s singles, Jenson Van Emburgh of the United States, justified his top seeded status to clinch the class 3 title at the final expense of Poland’s Maciej Nalepka (11-7, 11-5, 11-2); Italy’s Matteo Parenzan followed suit in class 6, Jean-Paul Montanus of the Netherlands in class 7.
In the gold medal contests, Matteo Parenzan beat Japan’s Kazuki Shichino (11-8, 11-13, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9); Jean-Paul Montanus overcame Poland’s Michal Deigsler (11-7, 11-8, 11-9).
Swede upsets order
Outcomes as anticipated, it was rather different with regards to Sweden’s David Olsson.
Somewhat an outsider, not listed amongst the leading names; competing in men’s singles class 5, he overcame Ahad Sarand of the United States (11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 11-3) to claim the top prize.
Attention now turns to the men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles events; play concludes on Saturday 26th March.