Familiar names, elite athletes who have succeeded at the very highest levels added to their collection of silverware at the ITTF New Taipei City Para Open 2023, a factor 20 tournament for World ranking points, but the player to attract the attention was a complete outsider.
On Monday 17th July, the second day of action in the four-day tournament, Sweden’s Daniel Gustafsson emerged emerged the men’s singles class 9 winner.
Moreover, he secured the title without surrendering a single game; every match three straight!
At the final hurdle he accounted for Spain’s Ander Cepas, the no.3 seed (11-8, 11-5, 11-7), the semi-final winner in opposition to Australia’s Ma Lin, the top seed (13-11, 11-7, 13-11).
Notably, Ander Cepas has very much been a name to note in recent times; in March he won on the Costa Brava, two months later in Wladyslawowo.
Unblemished from Daniel Gustafsson, it was rather different for Alberto Seoane; likewise, not seeded, he upset the odds.
Competing in men’s singles class 6, he lost his opening match! He was beaten by Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier, the top seed (11-8, 13-11, 9-11, 11-2).
However, that was to be his only reverse, he reached the final unscathed, eventually overcoming colleague, Alvaro Valera, the no.2 seed (8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7) to seal the title.
One round earlier, Alvaro Valera had ended the progress of Peter Rosenmeier (10-12, 11-7, 3-11, 11-7, 11-6), having, like Alberto Seoane, finished in group second place. He experienced defeat at the hands of Sweden’s Michael Azulay (6-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-7).
Gold for two non-seeded players; there was gold for a third. Korea Republic’s An Mihyeo secured the top prize in women’s singles class 1-4.
Furthermore, she succeeded in the same manner as Alberto Seoane; she was beaten in her opening group stage match by Japan’s Ena Miyazaki (5-11, 11-5, 4-11, 11-9, 11-6).
Second place in the group, she went from strength to strength; eventually, at the semi-final stage beating Flora Vautier of France, the no.2 seed (11-9, 4-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-6), prior to securing the title at the expense of Chinese Taipei’s Li Pi-Chun, the top seed (8-11, 11-9, 15-13, 11-5).
Unexpected winners, also, the names of Chinese Taipei’s Su Jian-Sian and Chen Po-Yen, in addition to Japan’s Natsuki Wada were not anticipated champions.
Su Jian-Sian claimed men’s singles class 10 gold; the no.2 seed, he finished ahead of Indonia’s Komet Akbar, the top seed, in a group organised event.
Equally impressive, Chen Po-Yen prevailed in men’s singles class 11, at the semi-final stage he overcame Korea Republic’s Kim Gitae, the top seed and reigning World champion (11-9, 11-9, 11-6), prior to defeating Spain’s Eduardo Cuesta, the no.3 seed (8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8) to claim gold.
Victory in opposition to the top seed, in women’s singles class 11, Natsuki Wada achieved the distinction in the final. She overcame Hong Kong’s Wong Ting Ting (11-6, 10-12, 12-10, 11-4), to secure the title.
Surprise outcomes, in the remaining categories the top seeds, prevailed; Korea Republic to the fore. In the men’s singles events there was gold for Joo Youngdae (class 1), Cha Sooyong (class 2), Baek Youngbok (class 3) and Kim Younggun (class 4).
Similarly, Cheng Ming-Chih added to Chinese Taipei’s gold medal haul, he won men’s singles class 7; Emil Andersson emulated colleague Daniel Gustafsson by claiming the men’s singles class 8 title.
European gold, it was the same for the Netherlands; Jean-Paul Montanus prevailed in men’s singles class 7, compatriot Kelly van Zon in women’s singles class 7.
Also, in the women’s singles there was success for France; Alexandra Saint-Pierre won class 5, Morgen Caillaud class 6.
Two titles for France, Australia was not to be overlooked; Lei Li Nan prevailed in class 8-9, Yang Qian in class 10.
Furthermore, alongside Baek Youngbok, Lei Li Na and Yang Qian emerged the tournaments most successful players, each secured the maximum three titles.
Lei Li Na and Yang Qian joined forces to win women’s doubles class 20; earlier on the final day Lei Li Na had partnered Peter Rosenmeier to mixed doubles class 17 gold, Yang Qian had joined forces with Ma Lin to claim the mixed doubles class 20 top prize.
Similarly, Baek Youngbok allied with Joo Youngdae to clinch the men’s doubles class 4 title, after having partnered colleague Shin Mi Kyoung to mixed doubles class 7 success.
Three titles, the results also meant that two titles for Joo Youngdae, as well as for Ma Lin, the Australian partnered Frenchman Lucas Didier to men’s doubles class 18 gold.
Additionally, there were two titles for Alexandra Saint-Pierre, Kelly van Zon, Emil Andersson and Morgan Caillaud.
Emil Andersson and Morgan Caillaud joined forces to win mixed doubles class 14, Alexandra Saint-Pierre partnered colleague Flora Vautier reserve the women’s doubles class 10 top prize, Kelly van Zon alongside Hong Kong’s Chiu Kan Shan emerged the women’s doubles class 14 champion.
Success for Hong Kong, from Asia there was also notable success for Japan. Hajime Hara and Takahiro Kubo won men’s doubles class 22, Ayumi Ota and Mikiko Yamamoto prevailed in women’s doubles class 22.
Also, for the host continent, Indonesia’s Adyos Astan and Yayang Gunaya claimed gold in men’s doubles class 8, Korea Republic’s Kim Younggun and Kang Oejeong in mixed doubles class 10. Not to be overlooked, there was success for Chinese Taipei’s Chen P0-Yen and Li Jing-Shuan in mixed doubles class 22.
Impressive, performances, it was the same for the venerable partnership of Spain’s Jordi Morales and Alvaro Valera; they won men’s doubles class 8.
Play concluded at the New Taipei City, attention now turns to the ITTF Taichung Para Open 2023, factor 40 tournament; a four-day event, play commences on Friday 21st July.
- ITTF New Taipei City Para Open – Quotes of the Day
- ITTF New Taipei City Para Open – Podium Places
- ITTF New Taipei City Para Open – Complete Results
- ITTF New Taipei City Para Open – ITTF YouTube Channel