Swansea Open 2023


Building from the success of last year’s Swansea Open, this year’s event saw the bar raised in a record number of entries but also player experience. The tournament welcomed its highest competitors of 104 players from all over the UK, beating last year’s 91.

The Saturday saw the youthful energy and the future of table tennis with the Under 13’s, Under 11’s, Cadets, Juniors and Under 21s categories.

The Under 11’s saw the next generation of Welsh talent on display, With Oliver Harvey from Rhondda coming through in 5 to take the title beating Evie Turner-Samuels from Greenhouse in the Final. The plate event was an all-Rhondda affair with Elouise Burnell beating Esmie Walters.

Top seeded Jake Davidson from Bristol took home the under 13’s title beating second seeded Amelie David in a cracking final that all the way to the 5th set. Thomas Smith from Northop Table Tennis club won the plate event beating Penlan’s Jacob Davies.

Toby Harwood justified his top seeding by storming to the cadet title without dropping a set all event, the final saw him come through against Charlie Davidson. The plate event was won by Josh Branch overcoming Piotr Wlodarczkr in 3 sets.

The first player to retain a title from last year was Evan O’Connor who for the second year took home the Junior title. The second seed over came Toby Harwood in his second final of the day who caused an upset overcoming Oscar Marriott in the semi-finals. The plate event saw another Turner-Samuels in a final, this time Eleanor Turner Samuels, who had a 4-set victory over Dan Mead to take home the winner medal.

The under 21’s saw the top two seeds, Jacob Evans and Abdulaziz Al-Hajaji reach the final without dropping a set. Abdulaziz beating Swansea University teammate Ian Parkyn in his Semis, whilst Jacob beat Junior Champion Evan O’Connor. The final saw Abdulaziz come back from 1 set down to win 3-1 and upgrade from his sliver last year. The plate event also saw a comeback match with North Gwent’s Sam Slatter coming back from 2-0 down to beat Swansea Uni’s Nathan Calton in 5 sets.

The Sunday welcomed the experienced and cool atmosphere with the Senior and Veterans events.

The Men’s Singles saw a repeat of the under 21’s, with the top two seeds Jacob Evans and Abdulaziz Al-Hajaji reaching the final. This time they were both made to work a bit harder. Paul May from Southampton pushing Jacob to a 5th in the group but found his gears reaching the final without loss of a set beating Swansea University club president Ben Lam in the Semis. Abdulaziz dropped a set to Sam Slatter in the group and was taken to the 5th by Chris Price in the quarters and Ian Parkyn in the semis. The high-quality final had gathered a fully entertained crowd with great table tennis and several exhibition shots. Jacob got his revenge from the day before, coming home a 3-2 winner after being two sets to zero down. Sam Slatter claimed his second medal of the weekend winning the plate event beating David Lloyd in the final.

The Ladies singles saw all the action hinge around group 2, which saw some very tasty matches, the unseeded Yeh Tsz Yan Nancy won the group scoring wins over second seeded Catherine Jones and Lok Sze Sum to top the group and take the second seeded slot on the draw. Catherine beat Lok Sze Sum to take runners up slot and relegate Lok Sze to the plate event. Top seed Lara Whitton came through her group without dropping a set with Izzy Turner Samuels runner up. Third seed Beth Richards of Swansea University came through winner of group 3 with Darcey Taylor as runner up. Due to second seed Catherine Jones coming runner up, it set up a clash with 3rd seeded Beth, before a Semi-final with Lara, the later being a step to far. Nancy overcame Darcey Taylor in her semi, who had knocked out Izzy Turner-Samuels in the quarters. The pulsating fast final saw top quality play with Nancy coming out winner in three sets. Lok Sze Sum took home the plate event with a 3-0 win over Lynne Harrison.

The final event of the weekend was the Vets singles, which saw the top two seeds go head-to-head Cath Jones and David Lloyd. David beating Craig Henton 3-1 in his semi-final whereas Cath needed all 5 sets to get the better of Paul May in the semi-final. Cath showed no signs of fatigue coming through the final to beat David Lloyd 3-0. The plate event saw Penlan’s Manie Tang win the gold beating Bhanureka Sabaratnam 3-0 in the final.

A big thank you to the Referee Steve Smith, Assistant Referee- Neil Jones and Rhi Davies on the top table and the outstanding media team of Isaiah Kee Yen Lim, Hilary Lai Ka Hei, Angelo Robles, Sam, and Chris Slatter and of course the rest of the members of Swansea University Table Tennis Club for another successful event.

Report by Matthew Porter



Day 1 Photos: https://adobe.ly/3YrmRWG

Day 2 photos: https://adobe.ly/3RDgrSf

Day 1 results Booklet: https://www.flipsnack.com/E57D77BBDC9/saturday-results.html

Day 2 results booklet : https://www.flipsnack.com/E57D77BBDC9/saturday-results.html