22 Jun 2024

A tournament with a long-standing reputation but many eyes focused on the ultimate prize.

Players focused on the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games sent a clear message from the ITTF Czech Para Open: preparations are progressing according to plan.

Proceedings concluding on Saturday 22nd June, in the men’s singles just three titles went to players who have not qualified to compete in the French capital city later in the year, in the counterpart women’s singles, the list was total; in fact, every event was won by the top seed.

Sweden’s David Olsson, Norway’s Krizander Magnussen and Poland’s Maciej Makajew emerged the players to upset the order.

Competing in men’s singles class 5, in the later stages Olsson beat Turkey’s Ali Ozturk (11-7, 11-7, 12-10) and Frenchman Nicolas Savant-Aira (6-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6), both Paris qualifiers, to seal gold.

Somewhat differently, in men’s singles class 7, Magnussen overcame Ireland’s Patrick Vaughan to claim the top prize (11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8); notably, the only final in which a Paris qualifier did not appear.

Krizander Magnussen, the surprise men's singles class 7 winner (Photo: David Matua)
Krizander Magnussen, the surprise men’s singles class 7 winner (Photo: David Matua)

Surprise outcomes, however, arguably the biggest upset was caused by Makajew in men’s singles class 11, the only semi-finalist not to have reserved a Paralympic Games place. In the penultimate round he accounted for Korea Republic’s Kim Gitae, the reigning World champion in what surely must be the closest deciding game of the year (11-3, 8-11, 11-8, 11-13, 18-16).

Later, he clinched the title at the expense of Belgium’s Florian van Acker, the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games gold medallist (11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7).

Defeat for Florian van Acker but a degree of consolation, at the semi-final stage he accounted for Hungary’s Peter Palos in yet another gripping duel decided by the minimal two point margin (7-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8, 12-10). Memorably, Palos won gold at both the London 2012 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Otherwise, players qualified for the Paris 2014 Paralympic Games enjoyed success.

In the men’s singles wheelchair classes, Korea Republic in the guise of Joo Youngdae (class 1) and Park Jincheol (class 2) enjoyed success as did Germany’s Thomas Brüchle (class 3) and Japan’s Kazuki Shichino (class 4).

A determined Kazuki Shichino (Photo: David Matula)
A determined Kazuki Shichino (Photo: David Matula)

Similarly in the men’s singles standing events, there was gold for Romania’s Bobi Simion (class 6) and Great Britain’s Josh Stacey (class 9), in addition to Poland’s Piotr Grudzien (class 8) and Igor Misztal (class 10).

Titles for Korea Republic’s highly rated male players, it was the same for their female counterparts. Seo Suyeon (class 1-2) and Yoon Jiyu (class 3) enjoyed success, as did Great Britain’s Felicity Pickard (class 6) and Bly Twomey (class 7).

Adding to the women’s singles gold medal list, there were titles for Alexandre Saint-Pierre of France (class 4-5), Japan’s Yuri Tomono (class 8), as well as for Hungary’s Alexa Szvitacs (class 9-10) and Turkey’s Ebru Acer (class 11).

Success in the women’s singles, later Alexandre Saint-Pierre, Alexa Szvitacs and Ebru Acer added to that success as did Yoon Jiyu.

Alexandre Saint-Pierre partnered Flora Vautier to women’s doubles class 10 gold, a result that secured Vautier two titles; earlier in the same category she had claimed mixed doubles gold alongside teammate Nicolas Savant-Aira.

In a similar manner, Alexa Szvitacs secured women’s doubles class 20 gold partnering Poland’s Karolina Pek, the latter the mixed doubles class 17 winner in harness with Piotr Grudzien, the men’s singles class 8 winner.

Two titles for a highly focused Piotr Grudzien (Photo: David Matula)
Two titles for a highly focused Piotr Grudzien (Photo: David Matula)

Adding to titles by succeeding in the mixed doubles, in class 7 Yoon Jiyu enjoyed success partnering Korea Republic’s Kim Junggil, the men’s doubles class 8 winner alongside colleague Kim Younggun. Ebru Acer followed suit in class 22 alongside Kim Gitae.

Likewise adding to the Korea Republic’s title haul and to earlier success, Park Jincheol and Seo Suyeon emerged the mixed doubles class 4 winners.

Imposing performances, in addition, Norway’s Krizander Magnussen increased his gold medal haul as did Great Britain’s Josh Stacey, Felicity Pickard and Bly Twomey.

Partnering colleagues, Krizander Magnussen won mixed doubles class 7 alongside Nora Kornliussen, Josh Stacey partnered Aaron McKibbin to men’s doubles class 18 gold; Felicity Pickard and Bly Twomey combined to win women’s doubles class 14.

Meanwhile, as play concluded, in the men’s doubles, Spain’s Iker Sastre and Miguel Angel Toledo won class 4, Great Britain’s Paul Karabardak and Billy Shilton succeeded in class 14; not to be overshadowed, Hong Kong’s Tsoi Ming Fai and Yuen King Shing claimed class 22 gold.

Impressive performances, in the women’s doubles it was the same in class 5 for Brazil’s Catia Oliveira and Joyce Oliveira, a situation that also applied to the combination of Germany’s Mio Wagner and Turkey’s Merve Demir in mixed doubles class 20.

Silver for Catia Oliveira in women's singles class 2 but gold in women's doubles class 5 partnering Joyce Oliveira (Photo: David Matua)
Silver for Catia Oliveira in women’s singles class 2 but gold in women’s doubles class 5 partnering Joyce Oliveira (Photo: David Matua)

Play concluded in Ostrava, the next stop is Pattaya, a Factor 40 tournament and the last before the Paralympic Games, the four-day event commences on Sunday 21st July.


General News Para Table Tennis

No results found.