Martin Perry combined with Mohammad Alrashidi from Kuwait to take silver in the men’s class 14 doubles on the final day of the Thailand Para Open in Pattaya but was unable to secure qualification for the World Championships after losing in the quarterfinals of the men’s class 6 singles.
The 28-year-old from Paisley and 20-year-old class 8 Alrashidi lost their first match to Cristian Dettoni and Matias Pino Lorca from Chile 3-1 but a walkover against Phitsadan Oiuyen and Suriyone Thapaeng from Thailand took them through to the semi-final against the Spanish/Italian partnership of Alberto Seoane Alcaraz and Raimondo Alecci. Perry and Alrashidi led 2-0 but a time out at 6-7 down in the third turned things round for Seoane Alcaraz and Alecci and after taking the set 11-8 they took the fourth 11-4 to level at 2-2. It looked as if the combined experience of the Spanish/Italian pair would prove decisive but Perry and Alrashidi took a close final set 11-9 for a 3-2 win.
The final was a rematch against Dettoni and Pino Lorca and the Chilean pair were too strong again in a 3-0 win.
Earlier in the tournament Perry came agonisingly close to taking a medal in the singles and securing qualification for the World Championships later this year. He reached the knockout stages as runner-up in his group after wins against Phitsadan Oiuyen from Thailand (3-0) and Cristian Dettoni from Chile (3-2) and a 3-1 loss to Alberto Seoane Alcaraz from Spain. He faced another Chilean in the quarterfinals in Matias Pino Lorca, silver medallist in Argentina last week, and having fought back from 2-0 down to level at 2-2 Perry was disappointed to lose the deciding set 11-6.
“I’ve never beaten Dettoni before,” said Perry, who now lives in Dumbarton, “so I was really happy to beat him at a factor 40 tournament when there is a lot of pressure as everyone is trying to qualify for the World Championships. I was disappointed to lose 3-1 to Seoane because I felt tactically I played quite well, it was just poor execution at times which was frustrating. Against Pino Lorca it is always 50/50 and we always have good matches. I got off to a slow start but I knew I was in the match and I got it back to a fifth set. We both knew the winner of our match was going to all but guarantee a spot in the World Championships and credit to him as he played well. It wasn’t the performance I wanted in terms of trying to get to the World Championships but it is what it is and I will need a wild card now.
“Credit to my partner Mohammad in the doubles as he played fantastically well in the semi-final. We felt in control in the fifth set and it was great to have the support of the Kuwait team because it gave the match a lot of atmosphere. Chile played really well in the final and were tactically spot on. I’m proud to have another medal at a factor 40 and after three weeks on the road I’m looking forward to spending a bit of time with my family and then getting back into training and seeing how things pan out for the rest of the year.”
Self-funded athlete Simon Heaps did not progress to the knockout stages of the men’s class 5 singles after losing to Hamza Caliskan from Turkey (3-2), Teeradech Klangmanee from Thailand (3-0) and Toru Nakamoto from Japan (3-1).
He teamed up in the men’s class 8 doubles with class 3 Busree Wawaeni from Thailand and they went out at the group stage after losing 3-0 to Kim Young-gun and Lee Jun from Korea, 3-1 to Julien Michaud and Yorick Adjal from France and 3-0 to Tsuyoshi Watanabe and Kentaro Doi from Japan.
In the mixed doubles class 10 Heaps and Ahad Alrasheedi from Kuwait lost a very close first match to Choi Siu Hung and Wong Pui Yi from Hong Kong 11-9 in the fifth and finished out of the medals in the round-robin event after defeats to Norakan Chanpahaka and Panwas Sringam from Thailand (3-0), Tour Nakamoto and Kimie Bessho from Japan (3-0) and Paisol Pateh and Supalak Butgunha from Thailand (3-0).