Successful four years ago in Beijing, competing in the Men’s Singles wheelchair categories, Frenchman Fabien Lamirault and China’s Feng Panfeng alongside Turkey’s Nesim Turan retained their titles on Saturday 20th October at the 2018 ITTF Para World Championships in Lasko-Celje.
Fabien Lamirault emerged successful in Class 2, Feng Panfeng in Class 3, Nesim Turan in Class 4.
The top seed, in the final Fabien Lamirault overcame Poland’s Rafal Czuper, the no.2 seed (11-7, 13-11, 11-1), after having beaten the Czech Republic’s Jiri Suchanek in a full distance five games semi-final (13-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-5, 11-8).
A hard earned semi-final win for Fabien Lamirault, for Feng Panfeng it was hard earned success in the final; he beat Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger, the top seed, to seal the title (11-9, 6-11, 12-10, 11-3). Earlier at the semi-final stage Feng Panfeng had caused Germany more pain by overcoming Thomas Brüchle, the no.3 seed (13-11, 11-9, 11-6).
Notable performances but of the trio, arguably the most notable effort was that achieved by Nesim Turan; he commenced matters as the no.4 seed. After accounting for China’s Zhan Yan in the penultimate round in five games (11-5, 6-11, 11-2, 7-11, 11-8), in the title decider, he beat colleague Abdullah Ozturk, the no.2 seed (11-6, 13-11, 11-9).
The runners up spot for Abdullah Ozturk, in Class 5 for Ali Ozturk it was gold as Turkey enjoyed more success. Occupying the no.4 seeded position, after defeating Norway’s Tommy Urhaug, the no.2 seed (6-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-5), he beat China’s Cao Ningning, the top seed, in what was to prove one of closest matches of the tournament. Ali Ozturk prevailed by the very narrowest of decisions (11-6, 11-2, 8-11, 5-11, 13-11).
Success somewhat contrary to expectations; in Class 1, the success gained by Korea Republic’s Kim Hyeonuk, competing in his first World Para Championships, was an event greater surprise. After recording a semi-final success against Argentina’s Fernando Eberhardt (11-9, 11-5, 11-9), he overcame colleague, Joo Youngdae, the top seed, to claim the title (11-8, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5).
Play concluded in Lasko-Celje, the focus now turns to Almeria; the Spanish Para Open commences on Thursday 15th November.