China demonstrated why they are the dominant force in the Table Tennis world as all but one of their competitors won on the first day of the London 2012 competition at ExCeL.
Liu Meng was unfortunate to be drawn in the same group as compatriot Lei Lina, her team-mate and gold medal winner from the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, who beat her 3-0 in a match that lasted just 15 minutes
There was opening-day success for the Host Nation too, as David Wetherill delighted the 6,000-capacity crowd with a 3-2 victory over Raimondo Alecci in the men’s Singles - Class 6, while Will Bayley gave the home support even more to cheer about when he beat Thailand’s Yuttana Namsaga in the men’s Singles - Class 7.
After his win, Bayley revealed how time spent in China has helped fine-tune his game ahead of the Paralympics.
'It really developed my game. I learned a lot from the Chinese. My next opponent (Keli Liao) is Chinese, so hopefully that will help me.'
Meanwhile, it was a good day for the French contingent, with an impressive start from all their top contenders putting them in a good position to better their tally of four gold medals from the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
One of the day’s most closely-fought encounters was a 42-minute clash between France’s Cedrik Cabestany and Linus Karlsson of Sweden, which the Frenchman eventually won 3-2.
With Cabestany seeded sixth - seven places higher than his opponent - the result was widely expected to be a formality, but Cabestany’s exuberant celebrations suggested the victory had been hard-fought.
There was a surprise result for Egypt’s Abdelrahman Abdelwahab, who produced an impressive performance to claim a 3-2 victory over world number eight Fredrik Andersson of Sweden in the men’s Singles - Class 10.
The youngest player at the Games, 14-year-old Karolina Pek of Poland, pushed her more experienced opponent, Neslihan Kavas of Turkey, all the way and the pair flew through their match in just 23 minutes, but experience prevailed over youth as Kavas came away with a 3-2 victory in the women’s Singles - Class 9.
Third seed Aida Dahlen of Norway got off to a good start in the women's Singles - Class 8 with a comfortable victory early in the day, but her hopes were dented in the evening session when she dropped her second match in straight games.
Thu Kamkasomphou and Mao Jingdian, the top two seeds in the class, opened their accounts with 3-0 victories.