On his international debut at the ITTF Costa Brava Spanish Para Open in Platja d’Aro Andrew Guy is through to the semi-finals of men’s class 1-2 and is joined by Martin Perry (men’s class 6) and Alex Bland (men’s class 7) while Fliss Pickard will compete for gold in her final women’s class 6 round robin match tomorrow.
Women’s class 6
Fliss Pickard began with a 3-0 win against Aianda Ardevol from Spain and looked to be heading for another comfortable win against Barbara Jablonka from Poland in her second match after taking the first two sets 11-6 and 11-1. But Jablonka fought back and edged the third game 13-11 but Pickard secured a 3-1 win 11-9 in fourth. She plays her final match in the round-robin event tomorrow against former World champion Katarzyna Marszal from Poland.
Women’s class 7-10
In her second international tournament Grace Williams narrowly missed out on progressing to the knockout stages. After losing her first match 3-0 to fellow class 8 athlete Lucie Hautiere from France, the 2020 Chile Open silver medallist, she beat Maialen Etxebeste from Spain 3-0 and then put up a great fight against Frederique Van Hoof, the class 8 World number 16 and Paralymic team silver medallist from the Netherlands, leading 2-1 before the Paralympic team silver medallist came back to take the match 3-2.
Men’s class 1-2
In his first international match Andrew Guy came from 2-1 down to beat the very experienced Endre Major, the class 1 European silver medallist from Hungary, 11-9 in the fifth and he consolidated that performance with a 3-0 win against Charlelie Arnaud from France to secure first place in the group and earn a bye into the semi-finals tomorrow where he will play another Frenchman Julien Michaud.
Men’s class 3
Andrew Green came agonisingly close to winning his first international match, fighting back from 2-0 down to level at 2-2 against Yaqoub Alqasem before the former Asian Para Youth Games medallist secured the win 12-10 in the fifth. He went out after 3-0 losses to Mikhail Neystroev from Russia and Roberto Eder Rodriguez, the World team bronze medallist from Spain.
Men’s class 4-5
Dan Bullen and self-funded British athlete Simon Heaps were both drawn in group A and they had a terrific battle which Bullen eventually won 11-7 in the fifth. The 23-year old from St Neots found the London 2012 Paralympic champion Tommy Urhaug too strong in his second match, the Norwegian World number four winning 3-0, and went out after a 3-1 loss to former US Open medallist Sem Roelofs from the Netherlands.
Heaps lost to Urhaug (3-0) and Roelofs (3-1) while in group B class 4 athlete Lee York also failed to progress after 3-0 defeats to Sebastian Vegsund, the European team bronze medallist from Norway and the Czech Open silver medallist Jiri Zak from Czech Republic and a narrow 3-2 defeat to Daniel Mateo from Spain.
Men’s class 6
Martin Perry began with a 3-0 win against Francisco Rodriguez from Spain and then recovered from losing the first set to beat 18-year-old Benedikt Muller, the European team bronze medallist from Germany 3-1 and secure a bye into the semi-finals tomorrow as group winner. He plays Esteban Herrault from France.
Men’s class 7
Alex Bland started with a 3-0 win against Antonio Jose Consuegra from Spain and won the group with a fighting 3-2 win against Zbynek Lambert from Czech Republic, taking the first two sets 14-12 and then holding his nerve to take the deciding fifth 11-8 after the former World and European champion had levelled at 2-2. He went on to win his quarter-final against 17-year-old Dutchman Yannick Paredis 3-0 and faces Maksym Chudzicki, the Paralympic bronze medallist from Poland, in tomorrow’s semi-finals.
Theo Bishop lost his first match to Chudzicki 0-3 but joined Bland in the quarter-finals after a 3-0 win against 22-year-old Pablo Romero Parreno from Spain. He was beaten 3-0 by the very experienced Daniel Horut, the former European medallist from Czech Republic.
Men’s class 9
Craig Allen had a tough opening match against the World number 11 Juan Bautista Perez Gonzalez from Spain, which the World and European bronze medallist won 3-0, and then put up a good fight against Barnabas Retter from Hungary, taking a tight fourth set 13-11 to level the match at 2-2 before the 25-year-old Hungarian won the deciding set 11-5.