Competition intense, a Factor 40 tournament and thus valuable World ranking points at stake, no quarter was asked, no quarter was given on the opening day of play, Monday 18th July, at the ITTF Thailand Para Open in Pattaya.
In the men’s singles wheelchair classes, players from the Korea Republic were very much in evidence.
Competing in class 2, Cha Sooyong, the top seed, experienced a surprise defeat at the hands of Japan’s Masanori Uno (11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9). Conversely in class 1, Park Sungjoo justified his top seeded position to end the day unbeaten, as did Kim Younggun in class 4.
Somewhat differently, Jang Yeongjin seized an opportunity. In class 3, the host nation’s Yuttajak Glinbanchuen, the leading name on duty, withdrew from proceedings; Jang Yeongjin duly secured group first place.
Likewise, in the men’s singles events, in class 11, Kim Gitae, justified his top seeded place in the draw to end the day unbeaten.
“Thing are going to plan. I have no worries about the competition because I practise very hard every day, five hours a day, so I have confidence. I have not been in so many tournaments after I gained my fourth place World ranking, after that I fell to number six. I’m here to get my ranking back.” Kim Gitae
Matters progressing as anticipated for the top seed, the same situation applied in all the men’s singles standing events.
Spain’s Alvaro Valero (class 6) and Ander Cepas (class 9) enjoyed trouble free days, as did Jean-Paul Montanus of the Netherlands (class 7), the host nation’s Phisit Wangphonphathanasiri (class 8) and Chinese Taipei’s Sun Jin-Sian (class 10).
A successful day for the Korea Republic in the men’s events; in the women’s singles, Moon Sungkeum followed suit. She ended the day unbeaten in class 6.
Similarly, in a group organised competition, in class 1-3, the leading names, Thailand’s Dararat Asayut and Brazil’s Catia Oliveira ended the day unscathed.
“I have some concerns. I am in class 2 but in this tournament I have to compete with class 3, so it is hard for me but sure I want to win.” Catia Oliveira
In class 7, also a group administered competition, it was the same scenario for Kelly van Zon of the Netherlands and Japan’s Yuri Tomono. They ended the day the only players unbeaten.
Progress as anticipated, in the women’s singles , it was the same for Chinese Taipei’s Tian Shiau-Wen (class 9-10) and Hong Kong’s Ng Mui Wui (class 11).
Outcomes as status advised, there was one upset. In women’s singles class 4-5, an all Thai clash witnessed success for Panwas Sringam in opposition to top seed, Supalak Butgunha (11-6, 11-4, 12-10).
Play in the men’s singles and women’s singles events continues on Tuesday 19th July.