Gold for Ian Seidenfeld (Photo: Rémy Gros)
The first titles were decided at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on the evening of Saturday 28th August.
Gold finished in the hands of Russia’s Elena Prokefeva, Ian Seidenfeld of the United States and Belgium’s Laurens Devos in addition to China’s Feng Panfeng and Liu Jing.
Defensive skills claimed the women’s singles class 11 title for Elena Prokofeva; remaining calm, waiting for her adversary to make mistakes, a four games win was the order of the day (11-4, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5).
Astute play was the order of the day, and no player was more astute that Ian Seidenfeld, guided by father, Mitchell; in the group stage the 20 year old had lost to Peter Rosenmeier in five games (11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8), in the final he prevailed in straight games (11-9, 11-8, 11-8).
Two finals decided in straight games, the third, the contest between China’s Feng Panfeng and Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger to determine the men’s singles class 3 title was very different. The contest went the full distance, Feng Panfeng being required to resist a brave recovery by the German (11-9, 11-4, 6-11, 4-11, 11-9).
It is now the fourth consecutive time, commencing in Beijing in 2008, when Feng Panfeng has secured the title.
A fourth win for Feng Panfeng, immediately following in women’s singles class 1-2, it was exactly the same for colleague, Liu Jing. In a repeat of the Rio 2016 final, once against Liu Jing prevailed; in the Brazilian city she had succeeded in four games (11-6, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6), she did the same in the Japanese metropolis (11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8).
Titles retained and it was the same for Belgium’s Laurens Devos; after losing the opening game in the men’s singles class 9 final, he moved into a different gear, emerging successful in a most imposing manner (9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3).
Seven finals follow on Sunday, a further six on Monday