22 March 2019
Perry and Stockdale clinch bronze at PTT Costa Brava Open in Spain
Martin Perry believes his commitment is beginning to bear fruit after clinching a second bronze medal in as many weeks at the PTT Costa Brava Open in Platja D’Aro.
The 24-year-old Scot led the way for the British Para Table Tennis team by completing the podium in the men’s class 6, while teammate Jack Stockdale matched him with bronze in the men’s class 10.
Perry opened up his campaign with a 3-1 win over Spaniard Francisco Rodriguez, before coming from behind to defeat American Ian Seidenfeld, ranked number 13 in the world, 11-8 in the fifth.
He topped his group with a 3-0 win against the Czech Republic’s Petr Hnizdo and sealed his last four place with the same result in his quarter-final against Italian Matteo Parenzan.
And while he was unable to overcome world number one Alvaro Valera in their semi-final, Perry was delighted to follow up his men’s singles bronze and team gold in Italy last week with another medal.
“I feel like I’ve had a very mature head these past two weeks,” he said. “I’ve tried to be as disciplined as possible with my game plans and I feel it has really paid off.
“I’ve had some really good wins and some improved performances from Italy and my match with Valera was incredibly tight.
I’m really happy to have won singles bronze medals in Spain and Italy. It’s great to start the season so well and I’m really looking forward to what lies ahead.
“He’s such a clever and experienced player who I have nothing but respect for and I think my coaching team and I approached the match with the correct tactics; it just wasn’t to be.
“I’m really happy to have won singles bronze medals in Spain and Italy. It’s great to start the season so well and I’m really looking forward to what lies ahead.”
Stockdale lost his opening game 3-0 against Spaniard Jose Ruiz Reyes, a former world champion and world number one, before bouncing back with a 3-1 win over Jagannath Mukherjee of India.
He then came through an epic battle against Spain’s Angel Garrido 15-13 in the fifth before seeing off Ander Cepas 3-1 to set up a quarter-final clash against Jorge Cardona.
The Spanish world number 11 ultimately proved too good as he triumphed in three close sets – but Stockdale was satisfied with his efforts after coming through a tough group.
“I’m very happy to have got to the semi-finals, especially getting out of a group with two higher ranked players,” said Stockdale.
“I had several chances against Cardona that I didn’t take so there are improvements to be made but it is a nice feeling to get a medal. Overall I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made.”
Elsewhere, Alex Bland lost his quarter-final to Paralympic silver medallist Israel Pereira Stroh in men’s class 7, while Cellan Hall was unable to get out of his group in men’s class 5.
Like Hall, Scotland’s Ryan Henry recorded a victory in his men’s class 8 group, beating Spaniard Ricard Sabio Ruiz 3-1, but failed to progress to the knockout stages.
Photo credit: British Para Table Tennis
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