“We have never won against China before, so we are really happy.”
Indonesia upset the order of merit, as the No. 2 seeded duo of David Jacobs and Komet Akbar overcame China’s top seeded combination to win gold on the final day of the para-table tennis Bayreuth Open on Saturday (30 May) in Germany.
Jacobs and Akbar beat both Kong Weijie and Lian Hao, and then advanced to defeat Ge Yang and Lian Hao, en route to claiming the men’s team class 10 title.
“We have never won against China before, so we are really happy,” said Jacobs, who won gold in the men’s singles at the 2014 Asian Para Games. “Earlier in the week in the men’s singles, I lost to Lian Hao in the group and then lost to [Poland’s] Patryk Chojnowski in the semi-final; so winning the team event was for me great.”
“Playing the Chinese is very difficult because their style of playing is very fast,” Jacobs added. “You must always be ready to block the ball, otherwise you do not succeed.”
Indonesia’s team win was one of three surprises in the men’s team events.
The class 8 team event saw the Hungarian duo of Andras Csonka and Gyula Zborai make their way to the top of the podium. The duo defeated the top seeded Chinese combination of Ye Chao Qun, Zhao Shuai and Sun Churen, 3-1, at the quarter-final stage. Csonka and Zborai then advanced to face Poland’s third seed Piotr Grudzien and Marcin Skrynecki, whom they defeated 3-1 to reach the final.
Csonka and Zborai then took a 3-1 victory over Ukraine’s Viktor Didukh and Ivan Mai to win the gold.
The class 3 team event also saw China’s second seeded trio of Feng Panfeng, Zhai Xiang and Ping Zhao joining forces to overcome the host pairing of Thomas Bruchle and Thomas Schmidberger for the gold.
Women’s team events
The Chinese women were strong in the team events. The trio of Li Qian, Xue Huan and Liu Jing took home the class 3 team title; while Zhang Miao and Zhou Ying won the class 4 event; and Zhang Bian and Gu Cai secured the class 5 top prize.
China also claimed three titles in the wheelchair classes, as Mao Jingdian and Pan Mengyi united to win class 8. Xiong Guidan and Liu Meng emerged as the class 9 champions, and Yang Qian and Lei Lina taking the class 10 event.
Germany’s Stephanie Grebe turned the tables one day after an early loss to win the women’s singles class 6 event in the four-day tournament.
The 27-year-old fell to Ukraine’s 2011 European Champion Antonina Khodzynskaya in three straight games, 11-6, 11-3, 11-7, in the group stage proceedings. The two met again in the finals, with Grebe taking the 3-2 win.
In the women’s class 9, China’s Xiong Guiyan, sitting as the No. 3 seed, defied the pecking order as she beat top seed and reigning Paralympic and World champion compatriot Lei Lina.
For full results of the para-table tennis Bayreuth Open, visit the event website or the ITTF Para Table Tennis website for more.