(by Steve Hopkins)
Americans made real waves at the World Veterans Championships in Muscan Oman last week. In particular, two of America’s most recognizable veteran couples managed to bring home medals – Donna and David Sakai, and Connie and Del Sweeris.
In Mixed Doubles O75, it was these couples battling in the All-American Final and it was the Sakai’s who came out on top with a 3-1 win. Gold for the Sakais and Silver for Team Sweeris (and a sweep for TeamUSA). USA’s TingNing Cheung paired with China’s Zhaozhao Jiang to win the O70 Mixed Doubles. In Women’s Doubles 075, Connie Sweeris and Donna Sakai teamed to win.
USA’s Vinay Chandra won his opening match in the O40 Men’s Singles before exiting in the second round. The winner was Germany’s Gregor Foerster (the event’s top seed). O45 Men’s Singles went to Iran’s Mehran Ahadi. O50 went to Denmark’s Henrik Vendelbo. O55 went to China’s Pan Yan – USA’s Abdul Muneem Ahmed won his opening round in the event as well – while USA’s Ben Cheng fell in the second round. O60 was won by Germany’s Zsolt-Georg Bohm.
Men’s O65 was won by Paal Guttormsen of Norway – and USA’s Robert Hodgson made the main draw but fell to a tough Indian competitor and USA’s Vladimir Shapiro reached the third round before falling to one of the Semifinalists, and USA’s Leonid Polishuk reached the main draw before falling in the second round.
Four Americans reached the main draw in the O70: Ed Cohen, Randy Hou, Simon Shtofmakher, and Raymond Mack. Hou reached the third round – the others fell earlier. The event was won by India’s Yogesh Desai.
In Men’s O75 David Sakai hammered out three wins before falling in the Semifinals. Del Sweeris won his opening match and then fell in the second round. Chang Qin Wang reached the Main Draw for the USA in the O80 but did not advance in an event won by Mohammad Ali Jafari of Iran. The highest age category was Men’s O85 – won by Japan’s Kazuo Masuda.
The Women’s O40 Singles Title went to Finland’s Marina Donner, Denmark’s Trine Grauholm won O45, and Mui Heng Liang of Singapore won 050. USA’s Raimon Simkoniene reached the third round in the O50, losing to Finalist Shilpa Joshi of India. O55 went to top seeded Pia Toelhoj of Denmark. O60 went to top seeded Mantu Murmu of India – Murmu topped USA’s Marina Cravens in the second round. Americans MinMing Zhu and Lili He each made the Main Draw in O65 – an event won by top seeded Kai Thornbech of Estonia. USA’s TingNing Cheung reached the Quarterfinals in the O70 – falling to the top seed England’s Sandra Rider (Rider lost to Japan’s Kazuko Horino in the Final).
Donna Sakai and Connie Sweeris both reached the Main Draw in the O75 – and Donna logged a pair of wins before falling in the Semifinal (in an event won by Gizella Zacher of Hungary). The O80 title went to Japan’s Noriko Watanabe and the O85 title went to Japan’s Reiko Miura.
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