Irish duo impress at the Czech Open

Yesterday saw the return home of the successful duo who represented Ireland at the Czech Para Table Tennis Open in Ostrava.  Both Tom Davis (Class 10) and Conor O’Callaghan (Class 6) managed to pick up a bronze medal in their respective team events.

Tom teamed up with the Class 9 Singles Gold Medallist Koyo Iwabuchi from Japan.  And in a mixed Class 9-10 event they finished top of their group which also included Germany and Poland.  Their other most notable win was over the host team of the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals.  Unfortunately they came up against a very strong Russian team in the semi-final, and lost narrowly (3-2.)

Meanwhile Conor was partnered by Raimondo Alecci from Italy and Vjekoslav Gregorovic from Croatia in the Class 6-7 event.  Despite losing to a strong Czech/Belgian team in the group stage, they had terrific wins over both Russia and Japan before losing the semi-final to eventual silver medalists Romania/Israel.

Earlier in the week both players had played the singles events and Conor, on his debut senior international tournament, played really well despite not qualifying for the knockout stages.  He took a set off both Bobrov from Israel (world-ranked 13) and Alecci from Italy (world-ranked 14.)  At 14 years of age, he certainly was not out of place in the senior ranks.

In the Class 10 singles Tom had superb wins over Nikita Perevozchikov from Russia and Ralf Meyer from Germany.  He lost narrowly (3-1) in the group to Ivan Karabec from the Czech Republic who is world-ranked 5.  Tom eventually went out in the quarter-finals to Trunov from Ukraine, narrowly missing out on his first international singles medal.

National Coach Ronan Rooney was full of praise for both players following their performances.  “They fully deserved to win their team-event medals, and Tom in particular was very unfortunate to miss out on a singles medal.  Conor also played well and has already shown that he belongs in this company.  He will benefit greatly from this experience.”

On behalf of Table Tennis Ireland, we would like to congratulate Coach Rooney and our two young players on their performance in Ostrava.