The Ulster Open takes place this weekend. Please see the draw and schedule below
The ITTF SQY French Para Open took place on from 9th – 11th November 2023. Colin Judge and Paddy Vaughan were in action in the Mens singles class 3 and class 7 event.
Day one of the event saw the group matches take place. Paddy Vaughan lost his first two games against Despineux (BEL) and Rosenast (SWI). He won his last game against Dourbecker (FRA) to finish 3rd in his group.
Colin Judge started his event with a 3-0 win against Sincar (TUR) before an impressive win against world number 5 Jenson Van Emburgh (USA) 3-0. In his last group game he stayed unbeaten with a 3-0 win against Geuljans (FRA).
As a result of finishing top of his group Colin got a bye into the quarter final were he beat Svatos (CZP) 3-1 to secure bronze medal.
Unfortunately Colin’s tournament ended with a 3-0 defeat in the semi-final against Panfeng (CHI).
Overall it was a very impressive performance from Colin who managed to not drop a set in the group stages and the highlight was beaten world number 5! This is another step to his journey to Paris 2024.
Special mention to Sam Logue who travelled as coach for Paddy and Colin.
Please see the following documents for more information on Classification criteria and process for Class 11 Players and Para selection criteria.
Para selection criteria: https://tabletennisireland.ie/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/TTI-Para-Selection-Criteria-230516.pdf
National Para coach Sam Louge has created the following report on recent activities within National Para Table Tennis this year.
After competing in Montenegro, Slovenia and Poland in May Colin Judge took a break for 2 weeks.
Since coming back he has trained consistently. Colin performed quite well in Montenegro, while harbouring an injury. He lost in the quarter final to the world no.1 Feng Panfeng but had some good wins against German and French opposition enroute to the Quarter finals. Colin participated in Slovenia alone and it was a difficult tournament for him going out in the group stage. In Poland Colin performed very well implementing some stylistic changes enroute to winning his group and beating world no.8 in the semi-final. In a good performance in the final, where he held a match point, he unfortunately lost 2-3 to Ciric from Serbia. Colin will attend a training camp in Slovakia in August before heading to the European championships in Shefield in early September.
Sean Geoghegan played in the Montenegro Open and was reclassified from class 9 to class 8 which was a big win for him. In the tournament Sean was unsuccessful in his singles group losing in straight sets in his three matches. In the doubles with Britain’s Ryan Henry, Sean won one match and lost two. Paddy Vaughan and Conor O’Callaghan competed in the Polish Open. Paddy had a great tournament winning two matches in his group, one of which against the eventual runner up of the tournament. Paddy lost to the group winner and eventual tournament winner 0-3 which meant he lost out on countback and did not progress to the main draw. Conor had a difficult tournament losing both matches in his group 0-3. Paddy and Conor together reached the quarter final of the men’s doubles 14 event with a good win against Hong Kong opposition in their group. Paddy also reached the quarter final of the mixed doubles event with his Spanish partner. They lost a close 3-2 encounter to lose out on a medal.
The Development and Pathway Squads attended a training camp in Brighton TTC in August. This was a fantastic experience for all of the players. In attendance were Paddy Vaughan, Sean Geoghegan, Aaron Mellows, Jude Sheldon, Caoimhe Folan and Des Ryan. World no.1 class 7 player Will Bayley was present for all sessions and gave time and advice to everyone. The club made sure there were extra coaches and sparring partners there for all sessions. This trip provided the players with an opportunity to train two sessions per day for three days in a row in a focused environment which they normally don’t get. This is great learning for these players to see what needs to be done and how it needs to be done to get to the next level. Being in the company of a world and paralympic champion, Will was perhaps the most beneficial aspect of the camp. The players got to play with him, see him train and hear him speak. This is invaluable experience. Will’s enthusiasm and incredible work ethic along with his undeniable love for the game was infectious and the players responded well to being around him. The club’s manager, Tim, along with Will, left no stone unturned in looking after us and making sure we were happy. This is a relationship we will develop going forward.
Performance and Pathway Plans:
Colin, Paddy and Sean will attend a training camp in Slovakia with national teams from Spain, Slovakia and Serbia. This was organised with Montenegro open tournament director Alexandra Dragasova. This will be a preparation camp for the European championships for Colin and Paddy.
The goal for Colin is a medal. On the back of a great performance in Poland and great work in the training hall, this is an appropriate goal for him. The goal for Paddy is to win at least one match in his group. Paddy has the ability to trouble most players in his class but this is his first major championship in a long time.
The Ulster Junior & Senior Closed Table Tennis Championships 2023 is taking place on Sunday 2nd of April 2023 at South Lake Leisure Centre, Craigavon. The event is taking place from 9am until 4pm.
Entries will close on FRIDAY 24TH MARCH 2023 10pm.
Further information and to register for the event, please click on the following link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ulster-junior-senior-closed-table-tennis-championships-2023-tickets-538075396997
Mark Twain wrote “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts”. By that yardstick we travelled well in attending the 2023 Malmo Parasport Event in Sweden this past weekend. The table tennis event saw a record entry of 160 participants from 10 countries – Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, UK, Austria, Jordan, Hungary and Iceland. So much so that the event had to be moved from the main Malmo stadium to the sports hall at Hasthagens where the lack of live streaming and interaction with the wider selection of parasport games devalued the player and supporter experience somewhat.
Nevertheless, the Development Squad put 13 players into the field – the largest Irish entry in the three visits to Malmo to date since 2019 – and we enjoyed our best results in the competition standings to date winning 15 medals in total across the three days.
On Friday Team Ireland won 3 medals , which included a gold medal for Alicia Winter in the seated doubles plate final – her partner was Heinrik Andersson from Austria. Jude Sheldon and Sam Brennan won silver in the standing doubles plate final. So, a good start for the Development Squad.
Saturday saw three general classification and four junior/youth singles categories on offer where 5 medals were won. Patrick McCormick won a bronze medal as a semi-finalist in the morning’s category 3 plate event. The afternoon saw Caoimhe Folan winning the junior girls plate event and Jude Sheldon semi-finalist in the junior boys plate event, Sam Brennan semi-finalist in the youth event and Alicia Winter third in the youth/class 1-5 events.
Sunday proved to be our most successful day with seven medals across classes 1 to 11. Alicia continued her good form with winning the plate final in class 1-3. Conor O Callaghan reached the semi-finals in class 6, while Des Ryan won a bronze medal in the class 6 plate competition. Class 7 saw a brilliant performance by Paddy Vaughan who made it to the final, beating some higher ranked players along the way, but found the current world no 1 and multiple paralympic champion, Will Bayley, too strong in the final. Hello??? Will Bayley!! Back on earth in class 8 both Jude and David McCaughern won bronze medals in the plate competition. In class 9-10 Sean Geoghegan went two steps better and won the plate final. Finally, while we did not have any medallists in class 11, performances since 2020 did improve with strong last 8 achievements in the main event for Aaron Mellows and for Aoife Kelly in the plate competition.
Overall, our most successful player was Alicia Winter with two gold and one bronze with special mention to Jude Sheldon with one silver and two bronze. 15 medals represent a 70% increase on our 2020 medals total and taking the significant improvement in the number of quarter finals achieved – 11 versus 5 in 2020 – the curve for the Para Development Squad is firmly upward.
The investment of the coaches, Sam Logue, Mick Cunningham and Ashley Robinson, along with Para Manager, Gavin Maguire, in the monthly training camps and the complimentary support of the parents/family members is paying off. A big thank you to them all and we look forward to more international competitions and training camps abroad in the future with funding support from TTI. While it hardly needs to be said that what happened in Malmo stays in Malmo, a special shout must go out to Mick Cunningham for his indefatigable good humour throughout the 4 days – his early (very early) morning wake up calls apart (tip no 1: don’t book a room beside his). Finally, the Para Committee will be awarding a specially commissioned St Christopher’s medal to Des ahead of his next trip abroad with the Squad
The following players have accepted their selection for the Malmo Open Games, in Sweden. The team travel to Sweden from the 8th – 13th of February.
- Sam Brennan
- Caoimhe Folan
- Seán Geoghegan
- Aoife Kelly
- David McCaughern
- Patrick McCormick
- Aaron Mellows
- Conor O’Callaghan
- Des Ryan
- Jude Sheldon
- Patrick Sweeney
- Paddy Vaughan
- Alicia Winter
The Malmo Open is known as the European Para Sport Games, one of the top events in Europe for Para Athletes. We are very excited to have our para players competing in this prestigious event and representing Ireland in the table tennis event.
We would like to wish the very best of luck to all our players and Coaches Sam Logue and Mick Cunningham who travel to the Malmo Open with the squad!
From the 7th-10th of November, the National Rehabilition Hospital hosted their 9th Annual Sports Champs. Which saw the inpatients compete amongst a wide variety of sports throughout the week. There were many sporting events on offer, such as swimming, archery, rock climbing and lots more. Table Tennis is amongst one of the many great sports on offer.
Over the past year we have collaborated with the NRH delivering training programmes to the patients within the NRH. These have been a fantastic success, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration.
The table tennis event at the NRH was amazing. There was approximately 50+ registered patients for table tennis from all 4 rehabilitation programmes (NRH Spinal Programme, NRH Brain Injury Programme, NRH Limb Absence Programme and NRH Paediatric Programme). Our umpires John Dempsey and Terri McKeon assisted with volunteering and umpiring at the event and provided plenty of tips and encouragement to the table tennis players. The standard of the playing at the table tennis event was superb, the sessions proving useful. Congratulations and well done to all the players on a great competition, we hope to see some of you take part in some of our events!
We would like to thank the NRH Staff for inviting us to be a part of this fabulous event, it is great invite for the patients and volunteers to be involved in. Well done to all the patients, staff, volunteers and everyone for a wonderful week of sport. We look forward to the 10th Annual Sports Champs next year!
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: https://www.ittf.com/tournament/5360/Andalucia-2022-World-Para-Table-Tennis-Championships/
Table Tennis Ireland Paralympian Colin Judge has been competing hard in many para events recently. Towards the end of June, he finished in 3rd place at the Para Czech Republic Open and 3rd place in the Para Montenegro Open. Some other great results in 2022, have ensured that Colin has been invited to take part in the Para World Table Tennis Championships in November. Colin has been training hard and prepping ahead of this exciting event, keep it up Colin!
Colin is currently ranked 11th in World which is the highest he has been ranked since his reclassification in 2019. Colin is also at superb 7th in Europe in Class 3 Men’s, two outstanding rankings. All his hard work and preparation is paying off!
We are all very proud of Colin and his outstanding achievementS, and we know that he will represent Ireland extremely well in the Para Table Tennis World Championships in Granada in November 2022.
Best of luck Colin from all of us at Table Tennis Ireland, we know that you will do great. We are all behind you wishing you all the best.