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Lei Lina and Fan Lei Repeat Beijing Success, Gold Once Again the Favourite Colour
The backbone of the gold medal winning Chinese Team in the Women’s Class Team 6-10 event at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, Lei Lina and Fan Lei, once again guided their country the top prize in the same event four years later.
At the London 2012 Paralympic Games on Saturday 8th September, they formed the duo that reserved the top step of the medal podium in the Women’s Team Class 6-10 event.
They beat a spirited Turkish outfit in the final with Neslihan Kavas particularly impressive.
She offered stout resistance.
In the second match of the contest she extended Fan Lei the full five match distance with the Chinese star, a right handed pen-hold grip player top spins from both sides of the racket, eventually assuming control in the deciding game.
Fan Lei recorded a five games success (7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4), before Lei Lina ended matters by beating Nesilhan Kavas in a more emphatic manner.
She accounted for Nesilhan Kavas in three straight games (11-7, 11-3, 11-6) to compete the whole London 2012 Paralympic Games unbeaten.
In the opening contest of the final she beat Kubra Ocsoy (11-4, 11-5, 11-7), having earlier in the tournament clinched gold in the Women’s Singles Class 9 event.
Sliver at First Attempt
“China was too strong but this was our first appearance in teams and we got a silver”, smiled Yusuf Kilinckaya, the Turkish coach. “We are very happy!”
Equally, Nesilhan Kavas was in an upbeat mood.
“For us the “real final” was the match against Poland in the semi-finals; making it to the finals and winning the silver medal is more than we expected!” said Nesilhan Kavas. “For me it actually sounds like a dream having won two medals in London!”
Defeat for Nesilhan Kavas at the hands of Fan Lei for the second time in the ExCeL North Arena and a second silver medal. Nesilhan Kavas had lost to Fan Lei in the final of the Women’s Singles Class 9 competition.
“I think that the Chinese can be beaten; for now we have to be satisfied with “stealing” a game here and there but in the future, if we continue to work hard and also more, I’m sure they are within our reach”, concluded Besilhan Kavas. “We are a young team after all.”
The Chinese were superb with Lei Lina the backbone of China’s success; for Poland in their bronze medal win over France, that role was assumed by Natalia Partyka.
She beat Claire Mairie (11-4, 11-2, 11-9) and Audrey le Morvan (11-9, 11-5, 11-5); whilst teaming with Malgorzata Jankowska to secure the vital doubles at the expense of Audrey le Morvan and Claire Mairie (11-7, 11-3, 11-5).
Class 6 Player
The two defeats for Poland were both experienced by Alicija Eigner, Class 6 player, she was beaten by Audrey le Morvan (11-5, 11-5, 11-2) and by Claire Mairie (11-8, 11-5, 12-10).
Audrey le Morvan is Class 10, Claire Mairie is Class 9; for both it was an agonizing defeat and just one place away from a medal.
One Step Short
Arguably it is the worst place of all to finish and perhaps for Audrey le Morvan and Claire Mairie it hurts even more.
In both Athens in 2004 and in Beijing four years ago they were the Women’s Team Class 6-10 bronze medalists.