(by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Success came the way of the Great Britain, Norway, Thailand and the United States of America as play concluded in the Spanish Para Junior Open in El Prat de Llobregat on Thursday 8th June.
Conor McAdam, Steffen Salomonsen, Jenson Van Emburgh and Bunpot Sillapakong all secured titles.
Already assured of the top prize, even before he entered the arena, Jenson Van Emburgh of the United States completed his itinerary of matches in Men’s Singles Class 2-3 unbeaten.
In a group organised event he finished ahead of Kuwait’s Yaqoub Alqasem and Khalifa Alwqasem with the Thai duo of Busree Wawaeni and Thirayu Chueawong in respective third and fourth places.
Success for Jenson Van Emburgh; in Men’s Singles Class 6-7, it was success for the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean. Great Britain’s Conor McAdam, after accounting for colleague Alexander Bland (8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6) at the semi-final stage, overcame Ireland’s Conor O’Callaghan (11-9, 11-6, 11-3) to seal the title. In the counterpart semi-final, Conor O’Callaghan had ended the hope of Ari Arratia (9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10) like Jenson Van Emburgh from the United States.
“I thought I played better today than yesterday. I felt I was more focused and ready to play well. I’m really happy with the outcome, especially after coming through some challenging matches.” Conor McAdam
“This was my best performance internationally. including winning my first match against a seeded player and my first medal so I am happy with what I have achieved, which is largely down to me putting less pressure on myself.” Alexander Bland
Gold and bronze for Great Britain, it was the same for Norway in Men’s Singles Class 8.
Steffen Salomonsen beat colleague Sweden’s Axel Jensen Wallin (11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7) to seal the title, having one round earlier overcome compatriot Iver Christiansson (11-9, 10-12, 11-0, 15-13). In the adjacent semi-final, Axel Jensen Wallin had ousted Pablo Jacobsen (11-8, 11-4, 11-7) also from Norway.
Titles for Europe and North America, in Men’s Singles Class 10, it was gold for Asia. Thailand’s Bunpot Sillapakong secured the top prize beating Spain’s Edgar Mataro in the final (12-10, 11-9, 11-5).
At the semi-final stage Bunpot Sillapakong had defeated Puerto Rico’s Kevin Rivera (11-5, 11-9, 11-5); Edgar Mataro had ended the hopes of Brazil’s Lucas Carvalho (9-11, 11-5, 10-12, 13-11, 11-6).
Play in the Spanish Para Junior Open concluded, play in the Spanish Para Open begins on Friday 9th June.
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