(Belga) Laurens Devos will defend her title in the final of the table tennis tournament, in class 9, of the Tokyo Paralympic Games. On Saturday, the 21-year-old Belgian table tennis player, world number 1, beat Russian Iurii Nozdrunov, 11th in the world, in the semi-final, 3 sets to 2 (11-8, 8-11, 11-1, 11-13, 11- 4) after 31 minutes of play.
Devos, who is Paralympic champion, world champion and reigning European champion, will face in the final the Australian Lin Ma (ITTF 3), winner 3-1 (12-10, 7-11, 11-6, 11- 5) by Ukrainian Ivan Mai (ITTF 2). The final will take place on Saturday at 8.15 p.m. local time, 1.15 p.m. in Belgium. A few minutes earlier, Florian Van Acker (ITTF 2), who also won gold in 2016 in Rio, was beaten 3 sets to 2 (4-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11 -5) in the semi-finals against the Australian Samuel Philip von Einem, 3rd in the world. The 24-year-old Flandrian table tennis player leaves the Japanese capital with a bronze medal around his neck. Florian Van Acker brought a 4th medal for the Belgian delegation in Tokyo. The first three were won Thursday with the gold medal of Michele George, on Best of 8, in dressage (Grade V), and the bronze medals of Manon Claeys, on San Dior 2, also in dressage (Grade IV) and Griet Hoet and Annelies Monsieur (pilot) on the kilometer time trial in track cycling. Laurens Devos is sure to add a 5th medal, it remains to be seen whether it will be gold or silver. (Belga)