Italian Para Open: Report

Two players Colin Judge Class 2 and Conor O’ Callaghan Class 6 travelled with Coach John Finn to compete in the first big international para table tennis championships since Rio Parolympics.

These championships had an entry of over 150 players from 35 countries played in a stadium on 16 tables over 4 days. Colin Judge played some fantastic and exciting TT getting off to a winning start in the singles event over Spains Miguel Toledo 3-1.
Colins second match was against 13th seeded French man Vincent Boury. He found him too strong showing his many years of experince resulting in a 3-1 defeat. The third match against Russian Evgenii Riazantcev saw Colin power into the quarter finals with a 3-0 win.
Colins quarter final game with Czech Jiri Suchanek, 5th seed had his homework done on how he would outplay our man using a game plan
that Colin could not answer.

Colin teamed up with Damir Vukovic Croatia and Evgenii Riazantcev Russia for the team event. Spain and Italy made up a group of three with one team going through to the semi final.
Colin played the doubles and the first leg single matches losing by a very small margin in the doubles and winning his two singles.
So in the two matches the scores were even at one all. The Croatian found the going too strong losing his games.
Connor O’Callaghan the young 16 year old from Cork played some great table tennis showing talent beyond his years.
Conor played high ranked players Bobi Simion of Romania, Danny Bobrov of Israel, and Georgios Mouchthis of Greece. Very unlucky not getting his first international win in a senior games over the Greek in a very close five setter.
In the team event Conor’s partner was Australian Trevor Hirth. The team worked well as the pair were of equal standard. Conor and Trevor played the top seeded British Martin Perry and Paul Karabardak losing 2-0.

There second match was against a Romanian and Switzerland pair running them to a close result 2-1.
Last up was the  very exciting match with Italy. Conor played fantastic tt in a high scoring five setter, result 2-1.
I thank the two players for their great competitive spirit and making the trip a success.