France’s Gilles de la Bourdonnaye earned a Tokyo 2020 spot in the men’s singles class 10 event after a dramatic win at the Paralympic Table Tennis World Qualification Tournament in Laško in Slovenia.
De la Bourdonnaye is a three-time Paralympic champion, earning two titles at Atlanta 1996 and a further gold at Sydney 2000.
The nine-time Paralympic medallist came out of retirement to target a place at Tokyo 2020.
He looked on course after taking a two game lead against Igor Misztal in the final of the qualification event, only for the Polish player to hit back to level the scores.
De la Bourdonnaye eventually held on to secure the final game and claim an 11-6, 11-4, 4-11, 9-11, 11-8 victory.
The women’s singles class 10 event proved a more straightforward affair, as Turkey’s Merve Demir earned an 11-9, 11-9, 11-5 win over Romania’s Ioana-Monica Tepelea in the final.
There was disappointment for Demir’s team mate Ebru Acer in the women’s class 11 event, after she suffered a 13-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 loss to France’s Lea Ferney in the final.
#TQP #TennisdeTable Clément Berthier (SM8) et Gilles de la Bourdonnaye (SM10) décrochent leurs sésames pour les Jeux #Paralympiques de #Tokyo2020 après leurs succès au Tournoi #WQT2021 à Lasko en Slovénie. @EquipeFRA @energiedusport #BleusHandisport 👉 https://t.co/JD28fwXYvP pic.twitter.com/58BQHbMnpp— FFHandisport (@FFHandisport) June 5, 2021
Japan’s Koya Kato earned a place at a home Paralympic Games by winning the men’s class 11 final.
Kato battled to a hard-fought 11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 10-12, 11-8 win over South Korea’s Chang Gi Kim.
Yukimi Chada was unable to replicate Kato’s achievement in the women’s class 3 final.
The Japanese player was beaten 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9 by Turkey’s Nergiz Altintas.
Britain’s Susan Gilroy secured a place at Tokyo 2020 in the women’s class 4 competition.
She earned the final place in the event by coming from a game down to beat Turkey’s Irem Oluk.