Bruna Alexandre and Danielle Rauen became the first players from Brazil to win gold at an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Para Team World Championships after claiming the women’s class nine to 10 title in Slovakia's capital Bratislava today.
The duo beat the Turkish pairing of Neslihan Kavas and Merve Demir 2-0 at the Slovnaft Arena to also become the first players from Latin America to achieve the feat.
Supported by colleague Jennyfer Parinos, they won the doubles 11-8, 11-3, 9-11, 11-13, 13-11 before Alexandre defeated Demir 11-8, 11-2, 11-6.
"We came to Bratislava with the aim of being world champions," Alexandre said.
"I am pleased that we were able to achieve this dream.
"In the final, the doubles was very tough, as the Turkish players changed their strategies throughout the game.
"We had to keep finding ways to solve problems during the match.
"What stood out was our team spirit.
"We practice together regularly in Brazil."
Alexandre and Rauen were the women’s team class six to 10 bronze medallists at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, also with Parinos.
They finished with the same colour medal in the women’s team class nine to 10 at the 2014 World Championships in Beijing, where Jane Rodriguez completed the Brazilian squad.
In today’s men’s events, Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallists Thomas Brüchle and Thomas Schmidberger of Germany overcame Ukraine’s Vasyl Petruniv and Oleksandr Yezyk to secure the class three crown.
A 9-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 doubles success was followed by a straight-games 11-5, 11-1, 11-5 win for Schmidberger against Yezyk to seal the triumph.
The class four final saw Turkey’s Abdullah Ozturk and Nesim Turan beat France’s Maxime Thomas and Florian Merrien.
The doubles set the tone with an 11-6, 12-10, 11-8 win being recorded and Ozturk brought matters to a conclusion by defeating Merrien 11-7, 11-13, 11-8, 11-6.
In the class seven final, Ukraine’s Maksym Nikolenko and Mykhaylo Popov overcame Thailand’s Rungroj Thainiyom and Chalermpong Punpoo.
The doubles set them on the road to victory with a 12-10, 11-1, 11-7 win before Nikolenko beat Thainiyom 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 to settle the contest.
Also tasting success were Poland’s Patryk Chojnowski and Igor Misztal after they defeated Russia's Iurii Nozdrunov and Pavel Lukyanov in the class 10 final.
Chojnowski and Misztal won the doubles 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 and the former returned to conclude matters with an 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6 win over Lukyanov.
Among the other winners today were Sweden’s Emil Andersson and Linus Karlsson, who won men’s team class eight gold at the expense of Ukraine’s Viktor Didukh and Ivan Mai.
The result was a reverse of the men’s team class six to eight final at Rio 2016.
The Swedes won the doubles 12-14, 13-11, 11-8, 12-10 before Didukh levelled the match by overcoming Karlsson 11-7, 12-14, 11-7, 11-6.
Andersson then held his nerve to beat Mai 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10 in the decider.
Another notable winning pairing was home favourites Jan Riapos and Martin Ludrovsky, who beat France's Fabien Lamirault and Stéphane Molliens in the men’s class two final.
The Slovakians won the doubles 11-9, 11-13, 11-5, 6-11, 11-4 before Riapos defeated Lamirault 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 to the delight of the home crowd.
Lamirault and Molliens were the men’s team class one to two gold medallists at Rio 2016.