Turkish table tennis player Abdullah Öztürk clinched the first gold medal for his country at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Paralympics on Monday.
Öztürk defeated his South Korean opponent Kim Young-gun 3-1 in the men's singles (Class 4) final.
Öztürk successfully defended his Rio 2016 title to go down in Turkey’s Paralympics history. He also has a doubles (Class 4-5) bronze to his name.
At the final in the Tokyo Metropolitan Sports Center, Öztürk defeated the London 2012 gold medalist and Class 4 world champion, Kim.
Öztürk fell behind 9-5 in the first set but fought back to make it 9-9. However, Kim won the set 11-9, to go 1-0 up.
The Turkish athlete performed superbly in the second set, defeating his South Korean counterpart 11-6 to make it 1-1.
The third set was equally contested as the players made it 5-5, but Öztürk scored in succession to eventually win the set 11-7.
Öztürk made a great start to the fourth set, opening up a 6-3 lead.
Kim fought back to make it 8-7 but it was not enough to stop an in-form Öztürk, who won the set 12-10, and the match 3-1 to clinch the gold medal.
Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu watched the final and congratulated Öztürk.
In his reaction after the match, Öztürk thanked everyone for the support and remembered the martyrs on the occasion of Turkey’s 99th Independence Day on Aug. 30.
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