Belgium’s Laurens Devos makes table tennis history12.09.2016
The 16-year-old became the youngest ever Paralympic Games table tennis champion when he won the men’s class 9 gold medal match.
The young Belgian, who has cerebral palsy, only made his international debut in 2014.
“This is a surprise,” he said after beating the Netherlands’ Gerben Last 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-4). “My goal was a medal, but it is a gold medal, so that’s better than a medal. I didn't expect to win again 3-0, but yeah, I did it.
“This past night I did not sleep so well because I thought, ‘Ah, I have a semi-final, then maybe a final in one day, so I have to play good’. But I won anyway. I think I can’t play better than this, I played good.”
Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier beat Alvaro Valera 3-2 (5-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6) to clinch the men’s singles class 6 title.
Valera, who has impaired muscle power due to CMT (Charot-Marie-Tooth disease), won his first Paralympic title at Sydney 2000 in the men’s singles class 8 event.
“Silver medal is a great success,” he said. “Yesterday I nearly lost in the quarter-finals where I was down match point, so this is not a bad result. A medal is a good prize.”
In the women’s class 1 final, Ukrainian Natalia Kosmina defeated Krystyna Siemieniecka 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-5).
And there was a Chinese double, with Feng Panfeng and Liu Jing winning the men’s singles class 3 and women’s singles class 1-2 events respectively.