Rio de Janeiro, Sept 17, 2016: Winning her fourth consecutive Paralympic Singles Gold earlier this week at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, para table tennis legend Natalia PARTYKA adds a team gold to her collection after leading Poland to a 2-1 victory against defending Champions China in the Women’s Team Class 6-10 event.
After losing the opening doubles match with her teammate Karolina PEK, PARTYKA repeated her success against China’s YANG Qian in the Singles Gold medal match to level the overall to 1-1, setting up a decisive match between PEK and reigning Class 9 World Champion LEI Li Na.
PEK eventually beat LEI, who boast five Paralympic Gold medals in her collection, 3-1 to seal the overall victory for Poland.
“It’s best I’ve seen Karolina play, I told she could win,” shared PARTYKA. “We lost to China in the final in Athens and Beijing, now at last we’ve beaten them!”
“Today against Yang Qian I felt more comfortable than when I played her in the singles. For me in the team event there is less pressure, I was relaxed, I was focused, I was able to play my game,” added PARTYKA.
In the Men’s Team Class 1-2 Gold medal match between France and Korea Republic, it was the French men who prevailed to defeat Korea Republic 2-1 to be crowned Paralympic Team Champions.
The French coach Christophe DURAND shared “We have a big leader in Fabien, for the past two years he hasn’t lost. Also Stephane is very good in team events; he has won so many important matches in recent times.”
The Chinese team continued to dominate the Women’s Team Class 4-5 event and the Men’s Team Class 9-10 event to end their trip to Rio with 13 out of the 29 Gold medals on offer.
“Competition is tougher as compared to the previous Paralympic Games I played in,” commented three-time Team Champion ZHANG Bian (CHN) who won both the Women’s Singles Class 5 event, and the contributed two points to the Chinese team’s victory in Class 4-5. “I value this Team medal more than the Singles Gold I won earlier. It represents the status of the Chinese women’s team in the wheelchair category. We are the strongest.”
The Brazilian lived up to the local crowd’s expectation, winning both their Bronze medal face-offs today at Riocentro Pavilion 3. The Brazilian women’s team defeated the Australian team led by Rio 2016 Olympian Melissa TAPPER in the Women’s Class 6-10 event, while the men’s upset Team Slovakia to secure a podium finish.
These medals conclude the extremely successful table tennis event at the 2016 Paralympic Games! —- ITTF
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