Bronze medallist earlier this year in both Egypt and Brazil, Frenchman Kevin Dourbecker emerged the biggest surprise winner at the Al-Watani Para Championships 2023, play concluding in Amman on Saturday 3rd June, following three days of action.
Not seeded, competing in men’s singles class 7, in the group stage of play, he was beaten by Jean-Paul Montanus of the Netherlands, the top seed (3-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9); second position, a place in the main draw, in the penultimate round he accounted for Egypt’s Sayed Youssef, the no.2 seed (11-8, 11-13, 13-15, 11-8, 11-5) to book a second meeting with Jean-Paul Montanus.
A further full distance five games contest ensued, only this time the verdict in favour of the 33-year-old Frenchman from Lagny sur Marne (11-6, 4-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8).
Success against the odds for one Frenchman, it was the same for another, Yorick Adjal emerged the winner in men’s singles class 3, in so doing he ended the ambitions of the host nation’s Osama Abu Jame to retain the title claimed one year ago.
The no.3 seed, he beat the Jordanian, the top seed, at the semi-final stage (11-5, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9), before securing gold at the final expense of Egypt’s Khaled Ramadan, the no.2 seed (11-6, 11-6, 11-7).
Unexpected wins for France, it was the same for India, Iraq, the Korea Republic.
Kunal Arora flew the flag for India, finishing in first place in a men’s singles class 8 group event; Canada’s top seed, Ian Kent having to settle for fourth place.
Iraq’s Abdulrahaman Shafeeq, not seeded, accounted for Egypt’s Abdelrahman Abdelwahab, the top seed, to claim men’s singles class 10 gold (11-7, 11-9, 11-2).
Less an upset Kim Hakjin, the no.2 seed, overcame Korea Republic colleague Park Jungsoo at the final hurdle in men’s singles class 1 (8-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9) to claim the top prize.
Otherwise, for the men, it was success for the top seeds. Egypt’s Samed Eid (class 4) and Hassan Tolba (class 5) enjoyed success as did Slovakia’s Jan Riapos (class 2) and Iran’s Naser Dehghanpour (class 9) alongside India’s Yesdi Bhamgara (class 6).
Somewhat differently, for the women, in each category the leading names prevailed.
Evanthia Bournia of Greece (class 1), Slovakia’s Alena Kanova (class 2-3) and Jordan’s Faten El-Elimat (class 4-5) enjoyed success in the wheelchair events.
Likewise, in the standing categories it was gold for Iraq’s Najlah Al-Dayyeni (class 6), Kelly van Zon of the Netherlands (class 7), France’s Lucie Hautière (class 8) and India Baby Ravi (class 9-10).
Titles for Faten El-Elimat, Kelly van Zon and Baby Ravi, as matters progressed there was further gold for the trio.
Partnering Osama Abu Jame, Faten El-Elimat brought the tournament to a conclusion, securing the mixed doubles class 7 top prize; the success coming soon after Kelly van Zon had joined forces with Jean-Paul Montanus to win mixed doubles class 14, after Baby Ravi had emerged the most successful of all.
She concluded proceedings as the only player to complete the clean sweep of three titles. In addition to women’s singles class 10, competing in class 20, partnering colleagues, she claimed women’s doubles gold alongside Devyani Walhe, the mixed doubles top prize with Jotiram Chougule.
Otherwise, it was very much honours shared.
In the men’s doubles there was success for Korea Republic’s Park Jungsoo and Egypt’s Khaled Ramadan (class 4), India’s Yesdi Bhamgara and Sanjeev Hammannavar (class 14) as well as for Egypt’s Abdelrahman Abdelwahab and Sayed Youssef (class 18).
Victory for Egypt, in the women’s doubles, it was gold for Hagar El-Sayed and Hanna Hammad (class 10) in addition to Fawzia El-Shamy. She partnered Saudi Arabia’s Maryam Al-Myrisl (class 5) to the top prize. In the one further women’s doubles event, it was success for Iraq’s Hadeed Al-Waeli and Rusul Al-Waeli (class 10).
Meanwhile, in the mixed doubles there were smiles for Kuwait. Khalifa Al-Qasem partnered Iraq’s Hadeel Al-Waeli (class 4) to victory. Similarly, Ali Alsanea triumphed in harness with Bulgaria’s Valentina Marcheva (class 17).
Positive outcomes for Kuwait, in the remaining mixed doubles event it was gold for Egypt. The victorious pairing being Hassan Tolba and Faiza Mahmoud (class 10).
Attention now turns to the Youth Para Pan American Games 2023, three days of table tennis action, play commenced on Friday 2nd June.
- ITTF Al-Watani Para Championships 2023, Amman – Podium Places
- ITTF Al Watani Para Open 2023 – Draws, Full Results
- ITTF Al Watani Para Open 2023 – ITTF YouTube Channel