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7th Dec, 2021

TABLE TENNIS - Allen wins bronze at French Para Open

Aaron Sutcliffe 12th Nov, 2021 Updated: 17th Nov, 2021

BROMSGROVE’S Craig Allen secured a bronze medal in the team event at the SQY French Para Open in Saint Quentin en Yvelines.


Allen was partnered by Hungarian duo Gyula Zborai and Barnabas Retter in the men’s class 9 team event and secured bronze after two wins and two defeats from their four matches.


Victories against Czech pair David Pulpan and Vit Spalek and French teenagers Baptiste Guillas and Melvyn Rabillard were enough to take third place overall.


And despite his success – Allen feels a lack of match practice prior to the tournament in Yvelines means he is yet to hit top form.


Allen said: “I think I played OK, but the lack of match practice has impacted my performance.


“I feel I can do well going forward but I need to go back to training and work on a couple of issues and play more tournaments at home so I can come back stronger.


“I enjoyed playing with Barnabas as we have played together a few times now and we play well together in doubles.”


The trio began the round-robin event with a 2-0 win against Czech partners Pulpan and Spalek – who won team silver at the Costa Brava Spanish Open last month.


Allen and Retter sensationally fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in the first game before Retter beat Miroslav Brozek 3-1 to take the match.


However, Allen lost in four close sets to world number 21 Bart Van der Zanden in his second match as the Netherlands triumphed 3-1 overall.


The 27-year-old bounced back in style to beat French teenagers Guillas and Rabillard 3-2 with Retter in game three.


And despite Allen losing 3-0 to Guillas in the singles – Zborai secured a 2-1 win for Great Britain and Hungary by defeating Rabillard 3-0.


The trio took bronze despite losing 2-0 to the German-Brazilian pairing of Yannik Ruddenklau and Lucas Dos Santos Carvalho in their final match – in which Allen and Retter lost the doubles 3-1.


Earlier in the week Allen was beaten 3-0 Lucas Didier from France – who won silver in Spain – and lost by the same scoreline to Pulpan to be eliminated from the singles competition.


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