20 Jul 2022

The second day of action, the day the medals were decided.

Gold the colour of the medal, winners look back on their efforts on Tuesday 19th July at the ITTF Thailand Para Open 2022 in Pattaya.

Thirayu Chueawong (Thailand) – Winner Men’s Singles Class 2

Age: 23 years old
First Played: Four years ago
Semi-Final: beat Cha Sooyong (Korea Republic) 11-9, 11-8, 11-9

“I was nervous but I practised hard, I do meditation and think about the strategy to compete, in the game I adjust regarding the guidelines from my coach. I am very happy that I won this match because I was expecting a lot from this match. Before I needed 18  points to play in the World Championships. Now I have more than 18 points, so I moved into the top 10 in the world.”


Alvaro Valera (Spain) – Winner Men’s Singles Class 6

Age: 39 years old
First Played: 10 years old
Final: beat Rungroj Thainiyom (Thailand) 11-5, 7-11, 11-13, 14-12, 11-9

“It’s quite difficult when you get old and you need to play with younger players. It was both a difficult and nice match. He made it an uncomfortable game for me, I needed to have sharp tactics to play against him, he is a good player. Anybody could have won, it was a very close match and tight competition, I needed a lot of focus.

I feel proud of the performance and glad to win the gold medal in a maximum factor 40 tournament this year

At this moment of my sporting career the most important thing my physical shape. I have to work with my physicality because of the neurological condition which I was born with, so every year I lose my power, I am weaker every year. I used to play in class 8, then class 7 now in  class 6. Every year is challenge for me. I have to be more intelligent on the table, more tactics to compensate my power capability in the game”


Kelly van Zon (Netherlands) – Winner Women’s Singles Class 7-8

Age 35 years old
Winner group event

“Always nice to bring the medals home. Now, I will prepare for the mixed doubles which starts tomorrow with my teammate, Jean-Paul Montanus. After that all my eyes will be on the World Championships in November, I will prepare as much as I can, much practice. After the Tokyo Olympic Games, I took very long break, I really needed it. I feel now ready to come back. I hope I will be ready for the World Championships

I don’t have any strategies; I just enjoy the game. I really like to go on trips, meet new people, to live the athlete life. I think the athlete life has always motivated me, always strive to make yourself better and better, make your game stronger and stronger. I am not young anymore. I started internationally when I was around 14 years. Now I am almost 35 but as long as I can play at the top of table tennis I have no plan to stop.”


Wanchai Chaiwut (Thailand) – Winner Men’s Singles Class 4

33 years old
World Ranking: No.2
Final: beat Kim Yonggun (Korea Republic) 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9

“I’m very glad and proud that I could do it. I thought I could not win because I had never beaten him in any match. In this tournament, my eyes were at only him.

Actually, I always record the data of playing against him for every match. Why I lost, how I can fix it. I practised a lot, before this match I never thought of any strategy to compete against him, I am always  afraid of his game because he is very secure and very calm. In this tournament I developed a strategy to compete against him. So, I am so glad that finally I won him.

I think what I do is the right way. I always told myself to think positively. For instance, if I play against the top seed I need to have confidence and not be scared.”

ITTF Thailand Para Open 2022 Para Table Tennis Thailand

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