Aiming to repeat the success of four years ago when the tournament was held in the Peruvian capital city of Lima, players very much at the opposite ends of the experience scale head the United States entry at the Para Pan American Games.
A five-day tournament staged in Santiago, Chile, proceedings commence on Thursday 16th November.
Tahl Leibovitz, now 48 years old, defends his men’s singles class 9 title; Ian Seidenfeld, 22 years of age, aims to repeat his men’s singles class 6 success of four years ago.
Not only does Tahl Leibovitz target a second successive men’s singles gold; he seeks an incredible sixth!
He won class 8 and open standing in 2007 in Rio de Janeiro before prevailing in 2011 in Guadalajara, four years later in 2015 in Toronto and then more recently in 2019 in Lima.
Successful in 2007, in that year there was also gold for Ian Seidenfeld’s father, Mitchell won gold in men’s singles class 7.
Like father, like son, Mitchell won gold at the Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games, Ian did the same at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games; in fact, Ian was the only gold medallist from Pan America in the Tokyo table tennis events.
The target is repeat success and a place in the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, it is the same for seven further players in the men’s singles.
Brazil’s Paulo Salmin (class 7) and Luis Manara (class 8) won in both Toronto and Lima; they aim for three in a row.
Meanwhile, in the wheelchair classes Yunier Fernandez (class 1), Mexico’s Victor Reyes (class 2) and Argentina’s Gabriel Copola (class 3) defend their Lima titles, a situation that applies also to Chile’s Cristian Gonzalez (class 4) and Mario Depergola (class 5), also from Argentina.
Similarly, in the women’s singles, Mexico’s Edith Segala (class 3) starts favourite to record a third consecutive win, as do the Brazilian’s Catia Oliveira (class 2) and Danielle Rauen (class 2).
Three in row, in the women’s singles Chile’s Tamara Leonelli (class 5) and Mexico’s Claudia Perez (class 7), seek a second success.
Prominent names, in the men’s singles, the names of David Andrade (class 3) and Chile’s Matias Pino (class 6) can be added to the list of major title contenders, as in the women’s singles can that of Joyce Oliveira (class 4). All three won in 2015.