Kunieda and Khanthasit win wheelchair tennis gold in Incheon
The pair have also secured a place at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games after their Asian Para Games gold in South Korea.28 Oct 2014
Shingo Kunieda won gold in the wheelchair tennis men’s singles at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games
Japan’s Shingo Kunieda and Thailand’s Sakhorn Khanthasit earned automatic qualification for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with gold at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games in South Korea on 24 October.
The victories mean the pair have now won respective back-to-back Asian Para Games singles titles - with Khanthasit shocking Japanese world no.1 and favourite Yui Kamiji in the semi-final this time around.
Japan’s Mitsuteru Moroishi won the first Asian Para Games quad singles gold medal after beating compatriot Shota Kawano in three sets.
After sharing the first four games of the men’s singles final with Japanese world No. 9 Takashi Sanada, Kunieda took a commanding 5-2 lead over his countryman and proceeded to dominate the second set as he sealed a 6-3 6-1 victory. Prior to this, Kunieda and Sanada had already won the men’s doubles gold medal for Japan.
"I am very happy about this result. It is nice to guarantee for me to participate in Rio," said Kunieda.
South Korea’s Sang-Ho Oh clinched his second successive Asian Para Games bronze medal in the men’s singles after beating Thailand’s Suthi Khlongrua 4-6 6-1 7-5.
Like Kunieda, world No. 15 Khanthasit also won both singles and doubles gold medals for the second Games in a row, after she partnered Wanitha Inthanin to another gold medal for Thailand on the penultimate day of play in Incheon.
Khanthasit also beat China’s Jinlian Huang in the singles final in a straight sets victory.
World No. 1 Kamiji recovered from being beaten by Khanthasit in the women’s singles semi-finals to clinch the all-Japanese bronze medal match. Kamiji eased past her compatriot and fourth seed Kanako Domori 6-0 6-2.
The quad singles produced two three-set medal matches on the last day of wheelchair tennis competition, with Japanese top seed Moroishi defeating Kawano 4-6 6-2 6-2.
But they then tasted defeat in the quad doubles, losing to South Korea’s Kyu-Seung Kim and Ho-San Wang.
Kim ended his competition with another medal for the host nation when the fourth seed came out on top in a thrilling quad singles bronze medal contest, eventually edging past Chinese Taipei’s Tzu-Hsuan Huang.