Double Gold for US Para Team in Germany

By USATT | June 22, 2017, 10:49 a.m. (ET)



Six athletes set out to compete in the 2017 Bayreuth Para Open in Germany. After a successful run at the Spanish Para Open the week before, the team were joined by Navin Kumar and Mingyu Zu as they aimed to share more victories. 

Athletes Representing USA at the 2017 Bayreuth Para Open, Germany

USA
M
3
Van Emburgh
Jenson
28-05-2000
USA
M
6
Seidenfeld
Ian
17-07-2001
USA
M
6
Arratia
Ari
3/1/1995
USA
M
8
Kumar
Navin
9/12/1973
USA
M
10
Brabrook
Neville
2/2/1943
USA
F
8
Zu
Mingyu
24-11-1993

Led by the experience and guidance of 1992 Paralympic Gold Medalist Mitchell Seidenfeld as Coach, the team excelled - gaining 3 podium finishes in the event. It was silver for Ari Arratia and Ian Seidenfeld in the Class 6 Team event while Ian and Minyu Zu capture gold in their respective Class' Singles events. 
 
Ian Seidenfeld went into the competition ranked 34th on the ITTF Para World Rankings. In the Class 6 Men's Singles,  Ian was seated as last player in his round robin group and ended up winning against all players in his group. His wins included - Thomas Rau GER (WR 6) 3:2, Michael Jensen DEN (WR 15) 3:0 and Kazuki Shichino JPN (WR 27) 3:2. Going through to the single elimination draw he was again unstoppable by beating Paul Karabadak GBR  (WR 10) 3:0, Peter Rosenmeier DEN (WR 2) 3:2 and in the final Bastien Grundeler FRA (WR 9) 3:1. An outstanding effort by Ian, defeating four of the world's top ten ranked Class 6 players on his way to claiming gold in the event.  
 
Ari Arratia sealed a great win in singles event by winning 3:0 against Thomasz Kusiak GER, he would combine with Ian to make a strong showing in the Class 6 Team event. They first won against Germany in a very dramatic match 2:1 winning their singles matches against much higher rated players – Rau and Kusiak. They would continue on to win against a combo of Israel and Switzerland 2:0. Despite losing in the group stage to a very strong Danish team, they were still able to advance into the main draw. There, in the semifinals, they would defeat Ukraine and then face off once again with Denmark in the final. The Danish pair of Rosenmeier (WR 2) and Jensen (WR 15) would prove too strong, claiming the gold with a 2:0 victory. But a satisfying silver for the USA and some incredible results along the road to the podium. 
 
On the list of  active but unrated players, USA's Mingyu Zu was the player to turn heads in the competition. She defeated all her opponents in Germany to take Gold in the Women's Class 8 Singles Event. Her opponents were all ranked in the top 15 players in the world - Zsofia Arloy HUN (WR 7 ) 3:2, Elena Litvinenko RUS (WR 8 ) 3:0, Yuri Tomono JPN (WR 11 ) 3:0 and Megumi Hiroakane JPN (WR 12 ) 3:1. No doubt Mingyu will continue to capture top results and earn herself a strong ranking among the world's best. 

Jenson Van Emburgh had some very narrow clashes. In the Class 3 qualification group he would face French player Sylvain Noel, experienced but absent from competition for a few years. He trailed 2:0 but fought back to 2:2, losing very close in the last game. He played another great match against world #20 Egon Kramminger AUT and lost 3:1. His final group match would be another nail-biter against Japan’s Shinichi Yoshida  WR# 25, the match went the full distance with Jenson narrowly missing out in the 5th game again. 

Jenson teamed up with Marotte of Belgium, the pair had some very close matches in the team competition for class 3.

Navin Kumar and Neville Brabrook would form another USA team at the event, they faced tough opposition against Russia, Poland/Brazil and Denmark/Ireland. A valuable experience for both players who despite giving their best weren't able to qualify through the group in the face of stiff competition.

A big congratulations to all of the players who represented the USA proudly and displayed great performances. We look forward to more top results from you in the future! Well done!