September 09, 2014: Singles finals day of the 2014 ITTF Para Table Tennis World Championships was a case of clean sweeps and close shaves, as more than half of the 21 finals matches ended in 3-0 score lines, with five more reaching their conclusion only with a tense fifth game.
Current women’s world no.1 and reigning Paralympic gold medalist Natalia PARTYKA was one player who left it till late for victory in the National Para Training Centre. The Polish player defeated China’s YANG Qian 3-2 in the Class 10 Women’s Singles final after trailing for most of the match, including being down 9-10 in the deciding fifth.
“I knew from the beginning that it was going to a very tough match” PARTYKA said. “I played against Qian in London, and it was also 3-2. I saw her and I knew she had good performances here. I knew that I had to stay focused and try to play relaxed.”
PARTYKA is one of the few players to compete in both the Paralympic’s and Olympic Games, a feat she says she wants to repeat at Rio 2016.
“I’d like to win a Paralympic singles gold again but it’s not going to be easy, as you can see from this match” the 25-year-old said. “But I hope I’ll be able to play well, and win the gold like I did in Athens, Beijing and London.”
Also aiming to build on his performance in London is Great Britain’s William BAYLEY, who defeated Ukraine’s NIKOLENKO Maksym 3-2 in a close Class 7 Men’s Singles final.
BAYLEY, a London silver medalist, says his performance against NIKOLENKO was one of the best matches he’s ever played, and like PARTYKA, is next aiming for a Rio gold.
“I think it’s the best match of my career because you know, I’ve lost two major finals in a row, so it was a special match for me.” BAYLEY said. “I was 1-0, 7-1 down so you know, it was a difficult match. I just told myself to keep battling, keep fighting, because I knew if I made it close I’d have a chance.”
“There wasn’t a lot that separated us, but you know I just came through” BAYLEY added. “I gave everything. I put my heart and my soul into the match, and luckily for me it worked in the end.”
In the Class 9 Men’s Singles final, China’s MA Lin, defeated Austria’s Stanislaw FRACZYK 3-0 coming back from being 6-10 down in the second set to eventually win 13-11. This was a performance that also meant a lot to the Chinese player, which was the eighth of the day for a dominant China. MA revealed that he had been struggling with a knee injury, and could only train intensely for a month before the Para World Championships.
“I’m really satisfied with my performance as I’ve been nursing my injury, and haven’t been able to train as much as I want to these two years” said MA, who is the reining ITTF Male Para Star, which he won at the inaugural ITTF Star Awards in Dubai earlier this year.
Please find a full list of newly crowned Para World Champions below:
• Women’s Singles Class 1-2: LIU Jing – China
• Women’s Singles Class3: LI Qian – China
• Women’s Singles Class 4: ZHANG Miao – China
• Women’s Singles Class 5: ZHANG Bian – China
• Women’s Singles Class 6: Sandra PAOVIC – Croatia
• Women’s Singles Class 7: Kelly VAN ZON – Nederlands
• Women’s Singles Class 8: MAO Jingdian – China
• Women’s Singles Class 9: LEI Li Na – China
• Women’s Singles Class 10: Natalia PARTYKA – Poland
• Women’s Singles Class 11: Anzhelika KOSACHEVA – Russia
• Men’s Singles Class 1: Chang-ho LEE – Korea
• Men’s Singles Class 2: Fabien LAMIRAULT – France
• Men’s Singles Class 3: FENG Panfeng – China
• Men’s Singles Class 4: Nesim TURAN – Turkey
• Men’s Singles Class 5: Valentin BAUS – Germany
• Men’s Singles Class 6: Alvaro VALERA – Spain
• Men’s Singles Class 7: William BAYLEY – Great Britain
• Men’s Singles Class 8: Viktor DIDUKH – Ukraine
• Men’s Singles Class 9: MA Lin – China
• Men’s Singles Class 10: Patryk CHOJNOWSKI – Poland
• Men’s Singles Class 11: Pascal PEREIRA LEAK – France
With the singles now concluded, the world’s best para table tennis players start the team competition, which starts tomorrow. —- Photo ITTF