First staged in 2014, a factor 40 tournament for World ranking purposes; the four day Thailand Para Open 2022 commences on Monday 18th July.
Once again Pattaya is the home, the fifth time the city has played host since the event was first organised in 2014; only on one occasion has there been a different location, in 2017 Suphanburi was journey’s end.
The pandemic having caused a break in proceedings, the most recent edition was in 2018; prominent names, who enjoyed success on that occasion, return.
Notably from the host nation, Yuttajak Glinbanchuen and Anurak Laowong are both listed; in 2018 they were the respective men’s singles class 3 gold and silver medallists.
Likewise in the men’s singles, colleagues Rungroj Thainiyom and Phisit Wangphonphatathanasiri both compete. Rungroj Thainiyom, gold medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games will be seeking to repeat his class 6 success, Phisit Wangphonphatathanasiri his class 8 win.
Moreover, Phisit Wangphonphatathanasiri may well draw swords with a familiar opponent; the name of Hong Kong’s Lam Ka Wai appears on the entry list, the player he beat in the 2018 final.
Also from Hong Kong, Wan Wai Lok, the men’s singles class 11 winner, will be on duty as in the counterpart women’s singles will be colleague Ng Mui Wui, in 2018 the silver medallist.
Silver for Ng Mui Wui four years ago, it was the same for Thailand’s Dararat Asayut; she ended proceedings the runner up in women’s singles class 2-3.
Worthy names, but if there is one player of note returning, it is Kelly van Zon of the Netherlands. Gold medallist at the most recent three Paralympic Games, she will be aiming to repeat her women’s singles class 7 win.
Major contenders for honours, they are very much not alone; especially in the men’s singles, players who have competed at the very highest levels are on duty.
Class 7 players Jean-Paul Montanus from the Netherlands, Frenchman Stéphane Messi and Spain’s Jordi Morales will all be in action as will Alvaro Valera, also from Spain, in class 6.
Meanwhile, from the Korea Republic, Kim Younggun will be present in class 4, Kim Gitae in class 11; similarly, Chinese Taipei’s Tian Shi’au Wen will ply his skills in class 10.
A total of 152 players (106 men, 46 women) are named on the entry list; overall 22 member associations are represented.