A native Yorker, at the Para Pan American Games 2023 in Santiago, proceedings concluding after five days of action on Monday 20th November, Tahl Leibovitz continued his quite incredible record of success in the quadrennial gathering.
Moreover, as with all men’s singles and women’s singles winners, he booked his place in the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
Now 48 years old, he laid claim to being regarded as the most successful player in the history of the continental tournament, one that dates back to Mexico City in 1999.
Present in 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, table tennis returning to the schedule having not been included in 2003 in Mar del Plata, Argentina, he won the first of what is now six consecutive men’s singles titles.
In the Brazilian city he secured gold in both men’s singles class 8 and men’s singles standing; four years later in Guadalajara, the open category disbanded, he added to his tally, before succeeding in 2015 in Toronto and more recently in 2019 in Lima.
More medals at the Para Pan American Games for Tahl Leibovitz; in fact, of those who had won medals at previous edition in the singles events, the only new names to gain podium places were Brazil’s Thiago Simoes and Chile’s Florencia Perez.
Thiago Simoes won men’s singles class 11, Florencia Perez women’s singles class 8
Notably, but some distance behind Tahl Leibovitz, in the men’s singles, Brazil’s Paulo Salmin (class 7) and Luiz Manara (class 8) made it three in a row, as in the women’s singles did their colleague, Danielle Rauen (class 9-10).
Three in succession, in the men’s singles two further players repeated their 2019 success. It was gold for Cuba’s Yunier Fernandez (class 1) and Ian Seidenfeld of the United States (class 6).
Also, in the women’s singles it was success once again for Brazil’s Marliane Amaral (class 1-3), Chile’s Tamara Leonelli (class 4-5) and Mexico’s Claudia Perez (class 6-7).
Climbing one step higher, in the men’s singles Chile’s Luis Bustamente (class 2) and Jenson van Emburgh of the United States (class 3) turned silver to gold, a feat also achieved by Brazil’s Claudio Massad (class 10). In both 2019 and 2015, the runners up spot had been his lot.
Progress, it was even greater men’s singles progress for Chile’s Maximiliano Rodriguez (class 4) and Argentina’s Elias Romero (class 5); Maximiliano Rodriguez had been a bronze medallist in 2019, Elias Romero in both 2019 and 2015.
Success for Maximiliano Rodriguez, later in the proceedings he added a further title to his tally; partnering Cristian Gonzalez, the player he beat in the class 4 final, he struck gold in men’s doubles class 8.
Two titles for Maximiliano Rodriguez, it was the same for Brazil’s Catia Oliveira, Joyce Oliveira, Jennyfer Marques and Gabriel Antunes.
Catia Oliveira and Joyce Oliveira joined forces to win women’s doubles class 5-10; additionally in the mixed doubles, Catia Oliveira partnered Lucas Arabian to gold in class 4-7, Joyce Oliveira to the top prize in class 10 alongside Fabio Souza.
Similarly, Gabriel Antunes allied with Carlos Mashki to win men’s doubles class 18, Jennyfer Marques secured the top prize in mixed doubles class 14-17 partnering Israel Stroh.
Furthermore, both enjoyed success alongside Danielle Rauen, Jennyfer Parinos in women’s doubles class 14-20, Gabriel Antunes in mixed doubles class 20.
The results meant Danielle Rauen proved the most successful player on duty in Santiago; earlier she had won women’s singles class 10.
Impressive performances from Brazilians; on the last day of play, one more was added their collection, Iranildo Espindola and Guilherme Marcio da Costa won men’s doubles class 4.
Victory for Iranildo Espindola and Guilherme Marcio da Costa added to the Brazilian title haul, in total 14 gold medals.
Likewise, the success gained on the concluding day of action by Matias Pino and Ignacio Torres in men’s doubles class 14 increased the Chilean gold medal haul. They concluded proceedings with six in total.