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Six in a Row as Tahl Leibovitz Extends Incredible Run of Success

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Published in Table Tennis
Tuesday, 21 November 2023 02:06

A native Yorker, at the Para Pan American Games 2023 in Santiago, proceedings concluding after five days of action on Monday 20th November, Tahl Leibovitz continued his quite incredible record of success in the quadrennial gathering.

Moreover, as with all mens singles and womens singles winners, he booked his place in the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

Now 48 years old, he laid claim to being regarded as the most successful player in the history of the continental tournament, one that dates back to Mexico City in 1999.

Present in 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, table tennis returning to the schedule having not been included in 2003 in Mar del Plata, Argentina, he won the first of what is now six consecutive mens singles titles.

In the Brazilian city he secured gold in both mens singles class 8 and mens singles standing; four years later in Guadalajara, the open category disbanded, he added to his tally, before succeeding in 2015 in Toronto and more recently in 2019 in Lima.

More medals at the Para Pan American Games for Tahl Leibovitz; in fact, of those who had won medals at previous edition in the singles events, the only new names to gain podium places were Brazils Thiago Simoes and Chiles Florencia Perez.

Thiago Simoes won mens singles class 11, Florencia Perez womens singles class 8

Notably, but some distance behind Tahl Leibovitz, in the mens singles, Brazils Paulo Salmin (class 7) and Luiz Manara (class 8) made it three in a row, as in the womens singles did their colleague, Danielle Rauen (class 9-10).

Three in succession, in the mens singles two further players repeated their 2019 success. It was gold for Cubas Yunier Fernandez (class 1) and Ian Seidenfeld of the United States (class 6).

Also, in the womens singles it was success once again for Brazils Marliane Amaral (class 1-3), Chiles Tamara Leonelli (class 4-5) and Mexicos Claudia Perez (class 6-7).

Climbing one step higher, in the mens singles Chiles Luis Bustamente (class 2) and Jenson van Emburgh of the United States (class 3) turned silver to gold, a feat also achieved by Brazils Claudio Massad (class 10). In both 2019 and 2015, the runners up spot had been his lot.

Progress, it was even greater mens singles progress for Chiles Maximiliano Rodriguez (class 4) and Argentinas Elias Romero (class 5); Maximiliano Rodriguez had been a bronze medallist in 2019, Elias Romero in both 2019 and 2015.

Success for Maximiliano Rodriguez, later in the proceedings he added a further title to his tally; partnering Cristian Gonzalez, the player he beat in the class 4 final, he struck gold in mens doubles class 8.

Two titles for Maximiliano Rodriguez, it was the same for Brazils Catia Oliveira, Joyce Oliveira, Jennyfer Marques and Gabriel Antunes.

Catia Oliveira and Joyce Oliveira joined forces to win womens doubles class 5-10; additionally in the mixed doubles, Catia Oliveira partnered Lucas Arabian to gold in class 4-7, Joyce Oliveira to the top prize in class 10 alongside Fabio Souza.

Similarly, Gabriel Antunes allied with Carlos Mashki to win mens doubles class 18, Jennyfer Marques secured the top prize in mixed doubles class 14-17 partnering Israel Stroh.

Furthermore, both enjoyed success alongside Danielle Rauen, Jennyfer Parinos in womens doubles class 14-20, Gabriel Antunes in mixed doubles class 20.

The results meant Danielle Rauen proved the most successful player on duty in Santiago; earlier she had won womens singles class 10.

Impressive performances from Brazilians; on the last day of play, one more was added their collection, Iranildo Espindola and Guilherme Marcio da Costa won mens doubles class 4.

Victory for Iranildo Espindola and Guilherme Marcio da Costa added to the Brazilian title haul, in total 14 gold medals.

Likewise, the success gained on the concluding day of action by Matias Pino and Ignacio Torres in mens doubles class 14 increased the Chilean gold medal haul. They concluded proceedings with six in total.

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