In the women’s singles competitions, the players to raise the eyebrows were Thailand’s Wachirapond Maenpuakn and South Korea’s Jung Ji Young.
The host nation’s Cha Soo Yong, Great Britain’s David Wetherill, China’s Zhao Yinqin and Indonesia’s David Jacobs were the players to attract the attention as the medal count was decided in the men’s events at the Korea Para-Table Tennis Open Championships in Incheon on Tuesday (30 July).
Meanwhile, in the women’s singles competitions, the players to raise the eyebrows were Thailand’s Wachirapond Maenpuakn and South Korea’s Jung Ji Young.
All had one factor in common; in the crucial latter stages they beat adversaries who gained gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Soo Yong accounted for Slovakia’s Jian Riapos at the semi-final stage of the men’s singles class 1-2 event (14-12, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-1) but eventually had to settle for the silver medal. In London, Jan Riapos won the men’s singles class 1 title.
Ratislav Revucky, also from Slovakia, extracted revenge as well. He recovered from a 2-1 deficit in the final to beat Soo Young by the very narrowest of margins in the deciding game (5-11, 8-11, 11-1, 11-8, 11-9).
Soo Yong was an eventual silver medallist in Incheon after causing an upset, and Wetherill produced the same result in the men’s singles class 6 event.
He overcame Thailand’s Rungroj Thainiyom, the winner of the class in London, in the penultimate round (11-9, 11-6, 11-5) but then suffered defeat in a similar manner to Soo Young in the final. He was beaten in a full distance five games duel by Korea’s Park Hongkyu (4-11, 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 11-8).
China’s Pan Fengfeng, who had won men’s singles class 3 in London, repeated his success in Incheon. He struck gold in the same class beating colleague Zhan Yan in the final (11-9, 11-3, 11-3).
Similarly, Cao Ningning, who had been in the same outfit in London as Zhan Yan, winning gold in class 4-5) was in form. He won men’s singles class 5 in Incheon, overcoming the host nation’s Kim Kyungyoung in the final (11-8, 12-10, 11-9).
Furthermore, for Cao Ningning it was one step higher than in London, like Zhan Yan he had been a silver medallist in the singles events. He was the runner-up in class 5, the fate as had befallen Zhan Yan in class 4.
Zhao Yiqing overcame Ma Lin in the men’s singles class 9 (2-11, 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 13-11), while in class 10 David Jacobs defeated Ge Yang (5-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8).
Similarly, in the women’s singles events there were upsets at the latter stages.
Thailand’s Wachirapond Maenpuak beat China’s Liu Jing in the final of the class 1-2 event (11-8, 11-2, 11-7); while Korea’s Jung Ji Young defeated Hong Kong’s Wong Ka Ma at the semi-final stage of the class 11 event (11-1, 11-5, 7-11, 11-6), before overcoming Japan’s Harumi Kimura (11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3) to clinch the title.
Meanwhile, China’s Zhang Bian and Lei Lina both struck gold in their events.
Zhang Biang won the class 5 title, beating Chinese Taipei’s Wei Mei-Hui in the final (8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10), while Lei Lina clinched top honours in the class 9 event.