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Rescheduled Anti-Doping Educational Webinar – 5th of December 7-8pm

Table Tennis Ireland are hosting an educational Anti-Doping Webinar with Sport Ireland Anti-Doping unit. This session is open for all of our members on Monday the 5th of December from 7pm-8pm online, we look forward to providing a very useful session to our members. This session is free of charge for Table Tennis Ireland Members.

Anti-Doping forms a very important part of ensuring our sport is clean and fair, we can’t stress the importance of making sure that our Table Tennis Community are aware of Anti-Doping processes and procedures.

This webinar will be a very informative engaging session which will be useful to all of our members, including players, coaches, parents, NPC’s and clubs. This masterclass will provide an overview of what happens during a test for anti-doping, an overview of what substances are banned as of 2022 and some other useful information to know on anti-doping, such as therapeutic use exemption – in some instances an athlete may be given the authorization to use a prohibited substance or method.

We encourage all our athletes, parents, coaches, athlete support staff and all other interested members to sign up for the very important Anti-Doping Educational Webinars run by Sport Ireland Anti-Doping Unit.

To register for this webinar please email [email protected] and zoom details will be sent out to you prior to the session.

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Mixed fortunes in Slovakia for Peadar Sheridan

There were mixed fortunes for Peadar and coach Conn Higgins in Slovakia this weekend at the WTT Youth Contender Senec.

In the Under 13 event Peadar qualified for the main draw, having finished second in his group after beating Roland BACA (Slovakia) 3-0 and losing to Deni VALE (Croatia) 0-3.  He then went on to the round of 64, beating Kuzey GUNDOGDU (Turkey) 3-1 before losing to Francesco TREVISAN (Italy) 3-1 in the round of 32.

In the Under 11 event a tough draw saw Peadar come up against three Asian opponents, two of whom were unseeded.  Despite heroic efforts to force a deciding set, he lost to Yun-Yan WU (Chinese Taipei) 1-3 before overpowering Yousuf HANIFA (Saudi Arabia) 3-0.  Playing for a place in the main draw, he took the first set off Yeongjun MA (South Korea) but eventually lost 1-3.

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Best of luck Colin at the 2022 World Para Table Tennis Championships

Table Tennis Ireland Paralympian, Colin Judge has flown out to Granada, Spain to compete in the 2022 World Para Table Tennis Championships. Colin is competing in the Class 3 Singles. Colin’s event begins on the 8th of November!

Colin, along with coaches Gavin Maguire and Sam Logue have been putting in long hours of training and preparation ahead of this tournament. We are extremely proud of the hard work that has been put in and all the great performances to qualify for this tournament amongst the world’s top players.

From all at Table Tennis Ireland, we would like to wish Colin, Gavin and Sam the very best of luck in this major tournament.

Keep an eye out on our social media as we will be sharing details on Colin’s games. Also, keep up to date on the tournament here:

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Senior Men at the European Men’s Championships Qualifiers

Our Irish Men’s Team of Owen Cathcart, Thomas Davis and Alexander Gillen alongside NPC Paul McCreery flew out to Sarajevo to compete in the European Men’s Championships Qualifiers from the 14th –  17th of October. This event is one of the most prestigious competitions in Europe for our players. 

The Men’s Team had a tough but exciting draw, meeting Netherlands and Norway. The top 2 in the group progressed to Stage 2. The last spots were up for grabs for all teams, so it was all to play for. 

There were some close games and matches in the opening round of matches vs the Netherlands, starting at 11am. First up, was Alex against VAN OOST in the opening game of the campaign. Alex Gillen was beaten 3-1 vs the Dutch opponent. Owen Cathcart fought hard, winning his first game in 3-0 leveling up the match. Tom Davis on his Senior debut for Ireland was up next, and he came close to beating DE BOER, but coming just short of a 2-3 defeat in an intense game. Owen followed Tom, and with another fantastic victory he tied the match at 2-2, Alex Gillen went toe-to-toe with CAMARA, but the Dutch came out with a 3-2-win vs Alex in a great game which could have gone either way. The team put up a good fight against the Netherlands but couldn’t secure a win as the Netherlands came out with a close fought 2-3 win.  

Coach Paul McCreery had to get the boys in line again, as they faced the Norway Squad later in the evening on that same day. Owen Cathcart stepped up first against RØNNEBERG, after a fantastic performance, Owen secured a superb 3-1 win.  In the remaining 3 games that followed in the respective order of Alex (vs Borgar Haug), Tom (vs Alexander Fransson), and Owen (vs Borgar Haug) were all beaten 0-3 in their games. The Norwegian team came out on top with a 3-1-win vs Ireland. Norway had a very strong No.1 in Borgar Haug who showed up in full form against us after uncharacteristically losing his game against Holland. 

Team Ireland competed extremely well, with some close games throughout. The team were very unlucky to have not qualified, Holland finished top in the group and beat Norway 3-0, we were only one set away from beating Holland showing how competitive this qualifier was. The team have now shown that we are in the right direction and we can compete amongst Europe’s best.  

Overall, a great weekend of Table Tennis from the Irish Men’s Team with great performances from all of our players. Ireland have not qualified for the European Team Championships in Malmo in 2023 and will now begin to plan and build for the next phase of qualification events. 

Well done to Owen, Tom, Alex and Paul on representing Ireland fantastically well and doing our country proud in Sarajevo.  

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Coach Conn Higgins & Peadar Sheridan

Peadar Sheridan has had another phenomenal weekend, finishing 6th at the 2022 Stiga Masters Minimes in Blegny, Belgium.

After a week spent training in Otočec, Slovenia, Peadar and Irish national coach Conn Higgins travelled to Belgium for the 15th edition of the Stiga Masters Minimes.  This is a long-running event that brings together the top 14 Under 11 finishers from the same year’s Eurominichamps, where Peadar placed 12th.

The group stage on Saturday saw Peadar firstly lose to top seed Andrej MORAVEK (Czech Republic) 1-3, then win against Alexandru POP (Romania) 3-1, before losing again to Romeo MULLER (France) 1-3.  After the interval he had a narrow loss to Pietro ANDREOLI (Italy) 2-3 followed by two wins over Roger QUESEDA (Spain) 3-2 and Bryan ZHANG (Belgium) 3-1.

The Last 16 draw on Sunday saw Peadar come up against Emil ELLERMAN (Sweden) who he defeated 3-0.  This set up another encounter with Roger QUESEDA (Spain) in the quarter-finals.  Having beaten QUESEDA in the group stages hopes were high, but this time it was not to be with QUESEDA overpowering him 3-0.

In the play-offs for 5th to 8th place Peadar defeated Tobias FABIAN (Czech Republic) 3-1 then lost David TORO (Romania) 0-3 to finish in 6th place.

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Peadar Sheridan has just returned from Montenegro where he was competing in his first World Table Tennis Youth Series event, the WTT Youth Contender Podgorica 2022.

In the Under 13 Boys Singles event Peadar topped his group defeating Santiago URIBE (Peru) 3-0, Filip NAGY (Slovakia) 3-1 and Mohammed AL-SALUATI (Qatar) 3-2. He then had a bye to the Quarter Finals where he lost to pimples player Yousif ABDALLA (Qatar) 0-3. ABDALLA went on to meet world number 1 Steven MORENO (Puerto Rico) in the final.

In the Under 11 Boys event Peadar again topped his group, this time without dropping a set. He firstly defeated Yousuf HANIFA (Saudi Arabia) 3-0, then Milan VECETIC (Montenegro) 3-0 and finally Abdulaziz AL ABDULLA (Qatar) 3-0. He then went on to defeat Filip NAGY (Slovakia) 3-0 in the Semi Final before losing to Abdulrahman AL TAHER (Saudi Arabia) 0-3 in the final.

Reaching the final in his first WTT event is a massive achievement and we couldn’t be more proud to see Peadar’s hard work in the training hall paying off in international competition

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Report on Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022

The Team with NPC Jing Yi Graham

Commonwealth Games is one of the most prestigious competitions for our players. Following many phone calls, emails and meetings and with full support from CGNI, a Men’s Team (Paul McCreery, Zak Wilson, Owen Cathcart and James Skelton) and one Women’s individual player, Sophie Earley were selected to participate in B2022.

Sophie Earley

The Men’s Team had a very tough draw, meeting India and Singapore in the group stage. There were some close games and matches. Owen Cathcart fought hard, but closely lost (2-3) to Indian No. 2 Hameet Desai who is ranked World no. 124. Our team lost to India and Singapore 0-3 and beat Barbados 3-0, finishing joint 9th in the Team event. India and Singapore were the ultimate gold and silver medallists at the Team competition in B2022.

James Skelton and Owen Cathcart
Owen Cathcart

After a few days’ recovery time, the men’s team and Sophie started the Individuals events. As there were only 3 players in the Singles event, James Skelton assisted Jing Yi taking on some coaching roles.

Paul, Owen and Sophie had some convincing wins in each of their groups and all 3 proceeded to the last 32. Zak finished with 1 win and 1 loss, narrowly missing out on the knock-out stage.

Zak Wilson

In the knock-out stage, Paul and Owen met tough opponents from India and Singapore and lost 0-4 and 1-4 respectively. However, Sophie displayed some outstanding performances. After some nail biting sets, Sophie beat Zhou Jingyi from Singapore 4-3, whom she never beaten in a number of previous encounters, to progress to the last 16. Then, after a long battle, unfortunately Sophie narrowly lost 3-4 to the no. 3 seed, Canadian Zhang Mo after taking a 3-1 lead in the match.

Paul McCreery

In the Men’s Doubles, another nail biting, marathon combat, Paul and Zak took on the no. 1 pair from Malaysia. The match was on the show court and broadcast live on the BBC. Support poured in from inside and outside the stadium, the boys did Northern Ireland proud, demonstrated tremendous effort, resilience and with an exceptional performance beat their highly ranked opponents 20-18 in the 5th set for a 3-2 victory. All players gave of their best and well done to them all!

Photo credit Michael Loveder Photography

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Success at the International Youth Games in Coventry

Table Tennis Ireland Players Alex Healy and Megan O’Brien along with Coach Philip Shaw represented Cork & Ireland at the International Youth Games in Coventry from the 11th to the 16th of August.

Megan O’Brien won a bronze medal in the Girls Plate Competition – the only medal placing for the Cork team in the entire competition. What a wonderful achievement, well done Megan.

Alex Healy reached the quarter finals in the Boys Competition, lots of great performances in a tough competition. Very well done Alex!

Both Alex and Megan were great ambassadors for themselves and table tennis in Cork and Ireland. A big Congratulations to Alex, Megan and Coach Philip on a great tournament. A great experience to compete in this fantastic tournament.

TTI News

Junior Boys at the European Youth Championships

Left – Right: Coach Gervis Knox, Tom Colvin, Max Skelton, Jonathan Mooney, James Skelton

The Irish Junior boys team of Tom Colvin, Jonathan Mooney, James Skelton and Max Skelton, along with Coach Gervis Knox competed against the best teams in Europe in this year’s team event at the European Youth Championships.

The first day was tough for the guys, who were a little passive and nervy against a strong team from Turkey. They lost 3-0 but Tom had the best chance, taking their number 3 to the 5th set.

After a good training session, they came into match two stronger and much more composed against group seeds Denmark. This match proved to be an epic that went the distance with James and Jonathan taking out their number 1 SKARSHOLM (World No.77). This left the deciding game between James and HOLD which was a thriller going to five sets with James holding his nerve to close out 11-7!! A monster win for the lads and a great team effort to end Day 1.

Just the one match on Day 2 taking on Moldova after a good morning training session. Jonathan was first up taking on their number 1 in a cagey game with Jonathan coming out victorious winning the final set 11-8. James made light work of their number 2 winning in three straight sets. Tom played at Number 3 and took the win 3-1 after a small blip in the third set. The fate of the team lay with Ireland needing a result from Turkey over Denmark and it wasn’t to be as the Danes took the match 3-1 leaving Ireland third in the group and pushed out of the Top 28 teams.

Day 3 starts the battle for placement and Ireland drew Malta and Estonia in the playoff groups. The only game of the day was against Malta and the guys stepped it up to beat them 3-0 dropping only one set in the process.

Day 4 was an early 9am group match against an experienced Estonia whom Ireland has faced many times in senior Europeans in the past. This was the game that got away with a very slow start with No.1 James going down 3-0 to MOOS. Jonathan got off to a blistering start winning the first set against PUKK 11-5 and taking the lead in the second only to see momentum swing and PUKK held the next three sets to win 3-1. Again a slow start from Tom saw him trail KURVET 2-0 but picked up form and won the next three games to bring the match to a fourth match. James took on No.1 PUKK but couldn’t find his usual form and unfortunately went down 3-1. After this tough loss, the boys moved into the final placement positions for places 32-34 against Bulgaria and Cyrpus.

Day 5 started with another early 9am match and this time the boys were much more fired up and wanted to rectify their performance from the previous day. Jonathan started the game in good form dropping only one set to their No.1 ELIA to swing the momentum in Ireland’s favour. James disappointed with his performance against Estonia came out on fire and took their No.2 TSISSIOS 3-0. Max stepped in to play the match at 3 and was unlucky not to convert set 1 & 3 against THEOFANOUS and went down 3-0 leaving the match score 2-1 for Ireland. No.1 James stepped up to play game 4 against ELIA and he didn’t disappoint winning 3-1 and leaving Ireland with a great 3-1 win over Cyprus.

The final match of the tournament was against Bulgaria and the boys looked to finish with a win. The first match was between Jonathan and EFTIMOV and after four close games he went down 3-1. Second game James took on the lefty STOYANOV which was a crucial game to get Ireland on the board and he delivered with a 3-1 win. The game sitting at 1-1 left Tom coming back into the mix and proved too strong for their No.3 SARIEV not dropping a set and taking the match 3-0. EFTIMOV proved to be a tough opponent bringing his form through and taking out James 3-0 to leave the match hanging on a decider. The final match of the tourament was between STOYANOV and Jonathan and he finished the job-winning 3-0 giving Ireland a well-earned 3-2 victory!      

Overall a great week of Table Tennis from the Irish boys who can go away with a monstrous win over Denmark, played a tight game with 8th place Turkey and finished with wins over Malta, Moldava, Cyrpus and Bulgaria.  

Quote from the team coach Gervis Knox “Overall very happy with the boys performances going away great confidence knowing we can go toe to toe with some of Europes best teams. Our players are not used to these conditions and only play a few international events but adjusted very quickly to produce excellent results against table tennis powerhouses Denmark and Turkey”.

Congratulations to the full team and you have done Ireland very proud with your efforts. Sophie Earley will fly the flag in the singles event as she starts her campaign on Tuesday – best of luck Sophie! 

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European Youth Championships

The following players have accepted their selection for the European Youth Championships, in Belgrade. The team travel to Belgrade on the 4th – 16th of July.

  • Tom Colvin (Craigavon)
  • Sophie Earley
  • Jonathan Mooney (Ormeau)
  • James Skelton (Ormeau)
  • Max Skelton (Ormeau)

We would like to wish the very best of luck to all our players and Coaches Conn Higgins and Gervis Knox in the EYC’s.