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Gwangju Proves Beyond Doubt: Table Tennis is the Sport for All
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Maime Thomas of France won bronze in the Open Class now he plays in Class Four Men's Singles  Photo By: Gaël Marziou

10/29/2010        2010 ITTF Para Table Tennis World Championships (Click here to access this section)

Table Tennis is the sport for all; itís an often repeated fact, quite correctly it is an oft uttered fact.

It is a fact that is underlined boldly at current ITTF Para Table Tennis World Championships being staged in the Korean city of Korea city of Gwangju.

The open classes, where all the wheelchair players compete in one competition and all the standing athletes play in a separated event are over.

Now, it is the start of events in the individual classes.

A sport for all, definitely; a total of 295 players are involved with 19 events being contested.

Classes One to Five are for wheelchair players, Classes Six to Ten for standing players.

Menís and Womenís Singles events are held in each category; theoretically, a total of 20 events is theoretically possible. The reason for 19 is that in the Womenís Singles competitions, Classes One and Two are combined to make one competition.

Impressive Numbers
The largest number of entries is seen in the Class Three events; for the men there are 30 players competing; whilst for the women there are 24 players in action.

Meanwhile, the numbers are impressive in the Menís Class Four event, there are 24 players involved; similarly that class for the women is well supported; 16 competitors are taking part.

Notably, the highest number of entrants is in the classes for wheelchair athletes and surely that fact alone endorses the claim that table tennis a sport for all.

World Class Player
Players whose disability prevents them from walking are involved in the same tournament as the likes of Polandís Natalia Partyka, a player who has represented her country in the Olympic Games, the World Championships and more recently competed in the Volkswagen Womenís World Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

She had to face the elite of the world and she met the challenge in her normal positive manner.

Enter Natalia Partyka in any event in the world and she is a force with which to be reckoned.

The Answer
Table Tennis a sport for all?

The answer lies in Gwangju, the answer is to be found at the ITTF Para Table Tennis World Championships.

You know the answer.

Liu Mei Liu was the runner up to Natalia Partyka in the Womenís Singles Open Standing Class;
she plays in the Class Nine Womenís Singles event .

Photos by GaŽl Marziou


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