18 Dec 2010

Kunieda and Khanthasit add to gold haul


NEWS ARTICLE

Japan's Shingo Kunieda and Sakhorn Khanthasit of Thailand are the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games champions are winning their respective men's and women's singles finals on Saturday in China.

World No. 1 and top seed Kunieda, who won the men's singles gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games on his last visit to China, withstood a fine challenge from his compatriot and second seed Satoshi Saida to win the men's final 63 63.

Kunieda ends the season with just one loss on his record this year, after losing his semifinal at last month's NEC Singles Masters.

Like Kunieda, Khanthasit added singles gold to the doubles gold medal she won on Friday.

The former world No. 6 started the Asian Para Games without a seeding due to her reduced tournament schedule compared to some of her peers. However, having overcome Korean top seed Ju-Yeon Park in three sets earlier in the tournament, Khanthasit again prevailed in a close deciding set as she defeated home favourite Fuli Dong. In an ultra-competitive, fiery and tactical contest, Khanthasit won the last two games of the final to earn a 64 16 75 victory, thereby denying Dong the gold medal in what is expected to be the Chinese player's last major tournament.

However, China did get themselves on the wheelchair tennis medal table after wild card entry Jin Lian Huang held on to beat Japanese second seed Kanako Domori 63 75 in the bronze medal play-off.

Meanwhile, Korea's Sang-Ho Oh added the men's singles bronze medal to his doubles silver medal after beating Japanese third seed Yoshinobu Fujimoto 76(2) 62. Fourth seed Oh was earning his fourth successive victory over Fujimoto.

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Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games Official Website

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