The 2014 ITTF Para World Championships will be held in Beijing, China from 6-15 September 2014, and will be the largest ITTF Para World Championships ever staged.
Held once every four years, the ITTF Para Table Tennis World Championships is the most prestigious events in Para Table Tennis.
The upcoming 2014 edition has drawn a total of 630 participants from 48 countries, including umpires, officials, and 314 para athletes who will be battling it out for the gold medals in both Singles and Team events.
Ireland will be represented by Rena McCarron Rooney in the Class 1/2 Singles event. Rena will be coached by Tibor Pofok, and has Susan Murphy Keating as part of the backroom team. The top 12 players between these two classes will battle t out for medals in Beijing, and McCarron Rooney will be working hard to score some big wins over some higher ranked opposition. Current title holder Jing Liu from China is on home soil and will be amongst the favourites to claim gold. World No.1 Nadeja Pouchpacheva from Russia will also be many people’s favourite to upset the home crowd – McCarron Rooney will not be intimidated in this company and has recorded big wins against the likes of Clot and Gossiaux-Sirreau of France at the Slovenian Open earlier this year. All in Table tennis Ireland wish Rena a fantastic tournament – keep eyes on www.irishtabletennis.com in the lead up to the event, which starts on 8th September. We would encourage all Irish Table Tennis fans to post support for Rena to comments below.
Rena has gives us an insight into her preparation leading up to the event.
How to Prepare for the Para Table Tennis World Championships?
This competition is a big deal for everyone involved. The World Championships appear on the calendar only once every four years, so in fact, we are preparing for this tournament for four years. Obviously, the focus narrows as it draws nearer. At this point, there remains little to be done.
Am I prepared?
Yes. I am prepared in as far as I can be. I did have an injury worry but Paralympics Ireland Doctor Joe Conway sorted it out with his magic gel.
During the season I have made some adjustments, I have changed my rubbers, I got a new table tennis playing chair and I was supplied by Table Tennis Ireland with Gerfloor sports flooring which we compete on at major tournaments – I have installed this at home for practice.
The competition will be tough. But, I believe in my own game. I have competed well during the season. I have confidence in my coach Tibor Pofok. This small Irish team, which consists of myself, Tibor and Susan Murphy is grateful for the support received to date from Table Tennis Ireland, Paralympic Ireland, IWA-Sport and the Irish Sports Council. We would like to thank our training partners and the senior squad for their continued support.
And we are off…..
The journey to China is onerous. We are unsure of what lies ahead of us in terms of travel, facilities, food etc, but we are looking forward to the challenge. There are a lot of uncertainties out there, but the one thing which I know for sure is that I will play well.
Finally, thank you to friends and family who continue to give endless unqualified support and for always understanding.
Para Classification – What is Class1/2?
· Class 1:
No sitting balance with severe reduction of function in the playing arm.
· Class 2:
No sitting balance with reduction of function in the playing arm.