15 Dec 2016

An Atlantic crossing, there is a strong European entry for the forthcoming United States Para Open Championships which commence in Las Vegas on Wednesday 14th December and conclude on Friday 26th December.

The most notable name is that of Kelly van Zon of the Netherlands; the player who owns every major title the sport of table tennis has to offer.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

At the London 2012 Olympic Games she won Women’s Singles Class 7; earlier this year in Rio de Janeiro she retained the title.

Furthermore, she has won the Class 7 event at the 2010 and 2014 World Championships, as well as being crowned European champion in 2009, 2011 and 2015. Quite simply at the moment, Kelly van Zon holds the three major titles.

Winner of the three most prestigious titles, it is also feat that Norway’s Tommy Urhaug has achieved although not all at the same time. A Class 5 athlete, he won Men’s Singles gold at the European Championships in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2013 and most recently in 2015.

Similarly, he was crowned World champion in 2002 and 2006 with the pinnacle of his career undoubtedly being at the London 2012 Olympic Games, when he won gold.

Also, Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger, the silver medallist in Men’s Singles Class 3 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in named on the entry list as are several further notable European names.

Sweden’s Emil Andersson and Linus Karlsson, both Class 8, alongside Stéphane Messi of France, Class 7, will be in action, as will Norway’s Aida Dahlen, the Women’s Singles Class 8 winner at the 2015 European Championships.

Quite simply for the likes of the host nation’s Tal Liebovitz, who competes in Class 9, there could be tough times ahead.

Overall 120 men and 25 women, representing 30 national associations will compete in Las Vegas.

The national associations represented are: Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Ireland, Italy, Korean Republic, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine and the United States.

2016 United States Para Open: Draw and Latest Results

Paralympics Para Table Tennis United States Para Open kelly van Zon Thomas SCHMIDBERGER Tommy Urhaug