BEIJING, China - In a tough men's class seven singles semifinal match up with China's Chaoqun Ye, Mitch Seidenfeld (Lakeville, Minn.) lost 0-3 and will now advance to tomorrow's bronze medal final.
Ye won the first two games 11-9 and 11-4. Seidenfeld sparked early in the third game, scoring the first three points, but Ye's quickness and powerful forehand stroke proved to be too much for the three-time U.S. Paralympian. The number two-seeded player from China scored the final two points to win 15-13.
"I got beat pretty good," said Seidenfeld. "I had a mobility advantage over the players in the preliminary rounds. I tried to keep him from attacking, but made too many mental errors. I play a very talented Spanish player tomorrow and it will be a good match."
Seidenfeld pulled off of two big 3-0 wins en route to the semifinal match. He will take on Spain's Alvaro Valera, a three-time Paralympian that won gold in the men's class eight singles at the 2000 Paralympic Games, for a shot at the bronze medal. At the conclusion of individual competition, Seidenfeld will join Tahl Leibovitz (Ozone Park, N.Y.) in the class 9-10 team event which begins Saturday.
A total of 267 athletes from 45 countries are entered in individual and team table tennis events. China and France brought the largest teams, each with 26 athletes. Players are allocated to classes depending on their disability. Classes 1-5 are for wheelchair players, while classes 6-10 are for standing players.
For more information or to arrange an athlete interview, please contact Allison Frederick at 139 106 33438 (if calling from the U.S., dial 011 86 plus the local number).
Complete table tennis results are available at http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRMP/ENG/Schedule/WT.shtml.