Beaten in his very first match in the group stage, Great Britain’s Will Bayley turned the tables on his Brazilian nemesis Israel Stroh to win the men’s singles class 7 title at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on Monday (12 September).
After emerging successful in four games (11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 11-4), Bayley now holds the two most prestigious titles of all, including the 2014 World Championships gold.
It atones for the disappointment of four years earlier in London 2012 when he was beaten in the final by Germany’s Jochen Wollmert.
China’s Yan Shuo beat Spain’s Jordi Morales to secure bronze.
China’s Mao Jingdian, the reigning champion, completed a successful defence of her women’s singles class 8 title. She beat Thu Kamkasomphu of France, seizing the initiative from the very first point to emerge successful in three straight games (11-6, 11-8, 11-2).
Josephine Medina of the Philippines took one step higher in Rio after her fourth-place finish at London 2012. She beat Germany’s Julianne Wolf, the silver medallist at the 2015 European Para Championships, to secure third place in three straight games (11-5, 11-6, 11-7).
Crowned European champion just over one year ago, Serbian Borislava Peric-Rankovic added to her collection of titles by clinching gold in women’s singles class 4. She topped China’s Zhang Miao (11-4, 6-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-6).
It was a morning that proved highly successful for Serbia as teammate Nada Matic, who had experienced defeat in the European final at the hands of Borislava Peric-Rankovic, secured third spot.
China’s Cao Ninging beat Germany’s Valentin Baus in three straight games (13-11, 12-10, 11-8) to secure the top prize in the men’s singles class 5. Serbia’s Mitar Palikuca beat Norway’s Tommy Urhaug (4-11, 14-12, 11-6, 11-9) in the bronze medal match for his first ever Paralympic medal.
Belgium’s Florian Van Acker won the men’s singles class 11 title, defeating Australia’s Samuel Von Einem in a full distance five games to secure the top prize (11-8, 16-18, 11-13, 11-5, 11-8). Defending Paralympic champion Hungarian Peter Palos topped South Korea’s Gi-Tae Kim for the bronze.
It was an all-China battle for gold, with reigning world and Asian champion Juan Xue topping teammate Qian Li 12-10, 11-7, 11-9, in the women’s singles class 3. Sweden’s top-ranked and defending Paralympic champion Anna-Carin Ahlquist came away with the bronze, defeating South Korea’s Jiyu Yoon 12-10, 11-7, 11-7.
Similarly, the women’s class 5 featured an all-China duel. No. 1 ranked Bian Zhang maintained her Paralympic title after besting Gai Gu 11-6, 11-6, 11-6. South Korea’s Young-A Jung had to take four sets to defeat Sweden’s Ingela Lundbaeck.
A thrilling five-sets decided the men’s singles class 10 champion, with China’s Yang Ge getting the best of Poland’s reigning Paralympic, world and European champion Patryk Chojnowski 5-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 16-14. Austria’s Krisztian Gardos swept China’s Hao Lian for the bronze.