The sharp end of proceedings reached at the ITTF Para Slovenia Open in Lasko on Thursday 12th May, the medallists determined, Spain emerged very much the nation in the thick of the action.
In the men’s singles, Alvaro Valera, the top seed in class 6, experienced a quarter-final defeat at the hands of Georgios Morales of Greece (12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8). Italy’s Matteo Parenzan awaits in the penultimate round.
Likewise, it was a quarter-final reverse for Anders Cepas. Competing in class 7, the previous day he had taken advantage of the absence of the leading name, Belgium’s Laurens Devos and had entered the main draw at the top of the order.
He was beaten by Ukraine’s Ivan Mai (11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9) who, at the semi-final stage, confronts Japan’s Koyo Iwabuchi.
Conversely, Jordi Morales flew the flag. On duty in class 7, in the opening round he accounted for Jean-Paul Montanus of the Netherlands, the top seed (5-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-7), before ending the progress of Japan’s Katsuyoshi Yagi (11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-2).
At the semi-final stage Jordi Morales faces Great Britain’s Will Bayley.
Notably in the same event, it was the end of the road for Sweden’s Jonas Hansson, the player on the opening day who had caused the biggest upset by overcoming Jean-Paul Montanus (9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 14-12).
He was beaten in the opening round by Slovenia’s Luka Trtnik (11-5, 11-9, 6-11, 8-11, 12-10).
Impressively Luka Trtnik recorded a quarter-final win against Germany’s Jochen Wollmert (11-8, 7-11, 16-14, 11-8) and now faces Thailand’s Chalermpong Punpoo for a place in the final.
Otherwise, the top seeded names all advanced to the medal stage.
In the men’s singles, Korea Republic’s Kim Hyeonuk (class 1), Frenchman Fabien Lamirault (class 2) and Thomas Schmidberger (class 3) all booked semi-final places as did Turkey’s Abdullah Ozturk (class 4) and also from Germany, Valentin Baus (class 5).
Likewise, there was progress for Ukraine’s Viktor Didukh (class 8) and Poland’s Patryk Chojnowski (class 10); Hungary’s Peter Palos (class 11) had booked his penultimate round place, the previous day.
Meanwhile, in the women’s singles, it was a day without blemish for the top seeds.
Last four places were reserved by Yoon Jiyu (class 3), Serbia’s Borislava Peric-Rankovic (class 4) and Lea Ferney of France (class 11).
Similar to Peter Palos, Italy’s Giada Rossi (class 1-2), Sweden’s Ingela Lundback (class 5) and Ukraine’s Maryna Lytovchenko (class 6) had reserved there semi-final berths the previous day; a situation that applies also to Ukraine’s Maryna Lytovchenko (class 6), Kelly van Zon of the Netherlands (class 7) and Germany’s Juliane Wolf (class 8), as well as to Hungary’s Alexa Svitacs (class 9).
Equally, Brazil’s Bruna Alexandre, the top seed in class 10, was not called to action.
Attention now turns to the men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles events, the men’s singles and women’s singles competitions will be concluded on Saturday 14th May.