14 Dec 2016

Gold medallist in Men’s Singles Class 6 at the 2015 Para Pan American Games in Markham, Toronto; Chile’s Matias Nicolas Pino Lorca has been named the Allianz Athlete for the month of November 2016.

Each month the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) issues a short list of athletes. Votes are cast via the IPC website.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

On Tuesday 13th November the ballot closed with the 19 year old Chilean gaining a quite staggering 72 per cent of the vote. He finished way ahead of the other five nominees.

Snowboarder Chris Vos of the Netherlands was second with 11 per cent. Korea Republic dance pair Lee Youngho and Park Youngseon gained third place with nine per cent of the votes. Next in line was Finnish snowboarder Matti Suur-Hamari, who polled six per cent with Italian wheelchair fencer Beatrice Vio, gaining two per cent.

The award recognises the outstanding performances recorded by the teenager from Santiago at the recent Chile Para Open staged in his home city and the Copa Tango Para Open held in Argentina.

Staged in consecutive weeks in mid-November, on home soil in Santiago, Matias Nicolas Pino Lorca won bronze in Men’s Team Class 6-8 in partnership with compatriot Osvaldo Torres Navarrette, having earlier in the tournament secured the Men’s Singles Class 6-7 title.

Two medals in Santiago, in Buenos Aires it was a full house of three gold medals. He clinched the Junior Men’s Singles Class 6 event for players under 23 years of age, before winning Men’s Singles gold in the same category and, again with Osvaldo Torres Navarrette, the Men’s Team Class 6-7 title.

Currently Matias Nicolas Pino Lorca is listed at no.20 on the Men’s Class 6 World Rankings, his highest ever rating; he is a member of the Rengo Club in Santiago and is coached by Francisco Carrasco.

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Paralympics Para Table Tennis