Laurens Devos Makes Table Tennis History

Laurens Devos (Photo: Morten Olsen)

History was made in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Table Tennis tournament when Belgian Laurens Devos won the men’s singles class 9 gold medal on Sunday. At just 16 years old, Devos becomes the youngest ever Paralympic table tennis champion.

Devos easily beat Dutchman Gerben Last 11-8, 11-7, 11-4, something that even he was struggling to believe. “My goal was a medal, but it is a gold medal, so that’s better than a medal. I didn’t expect to win again 3-0, but yeah, I did it. “He said after the match.

There was quite a difference in experience between the two finalists with Devos having only first appeared in international competition two years ago. By contrast Last had years of experience behind him but could not overcome the youngster.

Elsewhere, the men’s class 6 final was significantly tighter as Dane Peter Rosenmeier needed five games to beat Alvaro Valera. Valera won gold back in Sydney 2000 but couldn’t get the job done here as Rosenmeier won 5-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6.

The women’s class 1 was claimed in three games by Ukrainian Natalia Kosmina, beating Krystyna Siemieniecka 11-7, 11-6, 11-5. While China won more medals, first in the men’s class 3 by Feng Panfeng and then Liu Jing won the women’s class 1-2.

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