Festive Grand Prix - 19 December 2019
Third festive success for Shae
Shae Thakker appears to be making the Festive Grand Prix his own. Shae beat off a field of 21 other competitors to win the event for a third time, having previously won in both 2016 and 2018.
With such a high number of players, the event was split into two halves, effectively making six groups in the preliminary round stage. Each half then progressed until all positions one to eleven were established and then each played their corresponding place holder from the other half.
Playing standards were more varied than usual as there were many more younger players than usual taking part but there was still the usual spread of established seniors at the top of the draw. The seeds in Section A were Shae Thakker, Michal Garski and Keith Hall while the top positions in Section B were taken by Maciej Dlugozima, Ludo Montiel and Harry Coles.
Only one of the seeded players failed to win his group and that was Keith, beaten comfortably by up and coming youngster Jaiden Caldeira. All the other seeds won all their group matches 3-0 and progressed into a top group against each other.
Para star Shae, recently returned from representing GB in Costa Rica where he won a bronze medal in Men's Class 10 Singles, was again untroubled and beat both Michal and Jaiden 3-0. Michal beat Jaiden to secure the runners-up spot.
The top group in Section B, however, was a different matter, with the three players beating one another. Maciej was declared winner of the group as he had beaten Harry 3-0 and lost to Ludo 3-1 while Harry beat Ludo 3-0 for second position.
The final stage was a match-up between the respective positions in the two sections. Shae and Maciej opposed each other for first and second places while Michal saw off the challenge from Harry to secure third place.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all !!
1. Shae Thakker
2. Maciej Dlugozima
3. Michal Garski
4. Harry Coles
5. Jaiden Caldeira
6. Ludo Montiel
7. Jamie Woodford
8. David Saint
9. Akeel Mir