There were three golds, three silvers and five bronze medals for the English contingent at the European Veterans’ Championships in Rimini.

Photos by Pawel Meryn

Pride of place went to Sally Bax (pictured above), who took gold in the WS80 category and silver in the doubles, with the other golds going to Simon Heaps and Lorestas Trumpauskas.

Bax lost the first game of her singles final 11-2 against Michelle de Santa Barbara of France, but it tightened up after that and Bax took the next two games 11-7 and 13-11, before seeing her opponent level up by taking the fourth 12-10. But Bax took the gold with an 11-9 final game.

She couldn’t make it a double celebration alongside Margaret Dignum in the doubles as they were beaten 3-1 (11-3, 8-11, 11-2, 12-10) in the WD80 final by Ruth Schneider & Heidi Wunner of Germany.

Simon Heaps

Heaps, who has transitioned to the para ranks in recent years after losing his legs to diabetes, won gold in the Over-40 Class 1-5 Men’s Singles, defeating Italy’s Davide Scazzieri 3-1 (11-7, 10-12, 11-6, 11-7) in the final.

Trumpauskas struck gold in the MD50 alongside Sandijs Vasiljevs of Latvia, the pair overcoming Italian duo Alessandro & Giovanni Bisi 3-0 (12-10, 11-8, 11-4) in the final.

Lorestas Trumpauskas (left) and Sandijs Vasiljevs

Betty Bird took silver in the WS85 category, edged out 3-2 (12-10, 9-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-9) by Germany’s Marianne Blasberg. Bird had an interesting 3-0 (19-17, 11-9, 11-9) victory in her semi-final against Andela Potuckova of the Czech Republic.

In the same category, Blasberg earlier defeated Audrey Robinson 3-2 (11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 11-2, 11-1) in the semi-finals, leaving Robinson to settle for bronze.

There was silver for Margaret Welsman, who reached the WS75 final, where she was defeated 3-0 (11-8, 13-11, 11-2) by Gizella Zacher of Hungary.

As well as Robinson’s bronze, there were four other third-placed finishes for England.

Paul Giles & Paul Whiting reached the semi-finals of the MD60, where they were defeated in a very tight match by Italy’s Fata Adeyemo & Gianmarco Gallina, who ran out 3-2 (11-5, 12-14, 15-17, 11-8, 12-10) victors.

In the MD65, Phil Cawser & Raymond Hurst were defeated 3-0 (11-5, 11-8, 11-8) in the semi-finals by Jurgen Hecht & Manfred Nieswand of Germany.

Carol Eckersley & Helen Shields won bronze in the WD65, losing their last-four clash to Elmira Antonyan Brunner of Switzerland & Petra Rubin of Germany 3-1 (11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8).

Marjorie Dawson & Di Pearce reached the WD70 semi-finals but had to concede to Eva Magyar & Gizelal Zacher of Hungary.

There was a collection of medals too in the consolation events:

Marjorie Dawson (gold, WS70)
John Poysden (silver, MS65)
Marilyn Bawden & Linda Simpson (silver, WD65)
Phong Luong & Anit Deb (GER) (bronze, MD40)
Bill Grant & David Rayner (bronze, MD65)
Elana McClements & Sonja Chevallier (GER) (bronze, WD75)

Members of the English contingent in Italy