Successful in the Brazilian city of São Paulo just over five years ago at the Youth Parapan Games but no senior title to her credit in the intervening period, for Colombia’s Manuela Guapi, the drought came to an end on Monday 8th June.
She won women’s singles class 2-3 at the ITTF Copa Cristina Hoffmann 2022 in Cancun, Mexico.
At the final hurdle, the 20-year-old accounted for the more experienced Pamela Fontaine of the United States, the no.2 seed (11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-3) and thus repeated the success of the previous day.
In the group stage, she had overcome the American in a similar manner (9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9).
On the receiving end of an upset, later for Pamela Fontaine, it was the reverse scenario. At the semi-final stage she ended the progress of the host nation’s Edith Sigala, the top seed (11-4, 11-7, 11-6).
A title contrary to expectations for Manuela Guapi, to a lesser extent it was the same in women’s singles class 11. In an all Korea Republic final, Kang Seohyeon accounted for colleague, Sin Nahea, the top seed, to arrest the title (7-11, 14-12, 5-11, 11-2, 11-8).
It was a continuation of good form for Kang Seohyeon, the previous day she had beaten Thailand’s Pronwimol Wangprachum, the no.2 seed (11-5, 13-11, 11-1).
Success somewhat against the odds for Manuela Guapi and Kang Seohyeon, for Germany’s 57-year-old Jochen Wollmert playing in his last men’s singles class 7 event at international level, there was to be no Hollywood ending.
The no.2 seed, in what was his final final, he was beaten by Jean-Paul Montanus of the Netherlands, the top seed (11-9, 11-5, 11-7).
Gold for Jean-Paul Montanus, in the remaining events concluding on the second day of play it was also first prize for the favourites.
In the men’s singles wheelchair categories, it was success for the United States duo of Jenson van Emburgh (class 2-3) and Ahad Sarand (class 5), as it was for Mexico’s Jesusn Sanchez Garcia (class 4).
Similarly, in the standing category, additional to Jean-Paul Montanus, there was gold for Thailand’s Ringroj Thainiyom (class 6) and Phisit Wangphonphathanasiri (class 8); a situation that applied also to Tahl Leobovitz of the United States (class 9), Colombia’s Alvaro Puerto (class 10) and Venezuela’s Denisos Martnez (class 11).
Status justified, in the women’s singles it was the same for Kelly van Zon of the Netherlands (class 7-8) and Colombia’s Jessica Alzate (class 9-10).
Attention now turns to the men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles events; play concludes in Cancun on Wednesday 8th June.