(by Steve Hopkins, photos from USATT)
Ian Seidenfeld won three tight games in a row to top Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier 3-0 in the Final of the Paralympic Class 6 Singles. Seidenfeld’s Gold and Van Emburgh’s Bronze are highlights of TeamUSA’s performance this week. These accomplishments are also very promising for TeamUSA’s Para Future as Seidenfeld is 20 years old and Van Emburgh is 21.
GOLD FOR SEIDENFELD
Ian’s Paralympics started with a tough loss in the Group stage – falling to this same Danish player 3-2, a match where he fell behind early and was never able to pull ahead (7, -9, 7, -9, 8). However, a dominant win over Italy’s Matteo Parenzan helped him to advance, and he continued to win. A 3-2 win over Chile’s Dettoni put him into the medal rounds, and he dominated from there – winning the Semifinal 3-0 over Great Britain’s Karabardak and then winning the final 3-0 over Denmark’s Rosenmeier.
BRONZE FOR VAN EMBURGH
Like the rest of the American team, Jenson fell in his first match – losing 0-3 to China’s Xiang Zhai. He recovered quickly with a dominant win over Petr Svatos of the Czech Republic. Jenson had a seesaw battle against Germany’s Bruechle in the Round of 16 with Jenson winning the first game easily, losing the second game, winning the third game easily, falling just short in the fourth, and then winning the fifth. The next round was a dominant 3-0 win over Vladimir Toporkov to put Jenson into the top 4 (and to ensure a medal). Jenson then fell to Panfeng Feng of China (the eventual winner).
A CLOSE LOSS FOR LEIBOVITZ IN THE QUARTERFINAL
Tahl started slow in his group play, losing 0-3 to Laurens Devos of Belarus. That slow start included only scoring 7 points combined in the first two game, but the third game was tight to the end (an 11-9 loss). Tahl dominated his second match 3-0 over Spain’s Juan Perez Gonzalez. After advancing to the elimination rounds, he was matched up against Class 9 World No. 2 Ivan Mai of Ukraine – a match that went 5 games and included Tahl leading early in the fifth game (before falling 11-9). A close loss to a great opponent, one match short of winning a medal.
MICHAEL GODFREY’S TOUGH GROUP
Michael did not advance from his group in Class 1 Singles. Michael is not as accomplished as the other three on the team, but he is improving and he made some waves. He managed to take a game off of the No. 7 player in the world in this Class. Unfortunately, his group was a tough one – World No. 7 Andrea Borgato of Italy was the top seed in the group and he fell 3-1 to Hungary’s Endre Major (who won the group).
Visit ButterflyOnline.com for table tennis news and results.