Rio 2016 medallists shine at Thailand Open

Paralympic bronze medallists Rungroji Thainiyom and Josephine Medina carried on their table tennis successes in Pattaya. 17 Oct 2016
Kim Young-Gun
Kim Young-Gun
By Devon Robertson | For the IPC

Thailand’s Rungroji Thainiyom and the Philippines’ Josephine Medina were among those who followed up their Rio 2016 medals with gold at the Para Table Tennis Thailand Open, which concluded on Wednesday (12 October) in Pattaya, Thailand.

Home favourite and Rio 2016 bronze medallist Thainiyom won his fourth Thailand Open singles gold medal in the men’s class 6. The London 2012 champion flew through the round robin going 3-0 in both matches. The 29-year-old then survived a close final with a 3-2 victory over South Korea’s world No. 4 Hong Kyu Park. The pair last met at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, with Thainiyom taking the win there as well.

Medina, who took home her first and the Philippines’ only medal at Rio 2016, won the women’s singles class 6-8 competition. The Rio 2016 singles bronze medallist was flawless, going 3-0 for the entire tournament.

South Korea’s four-time Paralympic champion Young-Gun Kim found redemption in Pattaya after failing to reach the singles podium in Rio. Kim won the men’s class 4 singles competition after beating Thailand’s Wanchai Chaiwut in the gold-medal match. Kim was looking to defend his singles title from London 2012 but finished fifth in Rio. He did however help South Korea take Paralympic gold in the men’s team class 4-5, an improvement from the silver medal four years ago.

Thailand’s Wijittra Jai-on did not medal at Rio 2016, but she was spurred to success by her home crowd as she took the women’s class 4-5 singles crown. The 27-year-old beat South Korea’s Young-A Jung, who was the singles class 5 bronze medallist at September’s Paralympic Games.

Anurak Laowong and Yuttajak Glinbanhuen – bronze medallists from Rio – highlighted the team competitions in Pattaya, as the Thai pair secured the class 3 title to justify their top seeded position.

Complete singles results and team results can be found on the International Table Tennis’ (ITTF) website. Next up on the Para calendar is the Chile Open in Santiago on 17 November.