24 Jul 2017

Tuesday 13th September 2016 was the day which saw Kelly van Zon of the Netherlands claim the Women’s Singles Class 7 gold medal at the Paralympic Games for the second time in her table tennis career.

Now the Dutch player has her eye on enjoying a successful campaign at another major event with the 2017 European Para Championships set to commence on Thursday 28th September in the Slovenian town of Lasko.

by Simon Daish

Kelly van Zon, who has been competing at the very top of the game for the past decade, heads to Lasko as one of the major contenders in the hunt for silverware but the World no.1 is feeling cautious about her chances ahead of the tournament.

“I think anything can happen and I have to watch out for everyone. I have been leading in Class 7 for quite some time now but I still really feel that everyone is getting closer and closer”, Kelly van Zon.

Attempting to claim the Women’s Singles gold medal at the tournament for the third occasion Kelly van Zon is hoping to be at her best for the event in Lasko, however, she is aware of the tough challenges that await her in Slovenia and believes that there are many candidates who are ready to put up a strong fight in the race for the trophy.

“It’s going to be tough and of course there are some players like Turkey’s Kubra Korkut who I played in the Rio final and you also have the Russian players and the French players who are very strong. There are definitely no players in the European Championships who are easy to play against. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses and I have to just do my best and give everything”, Kelly van Zon.

29-year-old van Zon is regarded as one of the strongest players to have competed in the Women’s Singles Class 7 category and is expected to remain the dominant force in the game for the foreseeable future.

The Dutch representative is aiming to continue in the sport for a little while yet, but van Zon is also of the belief that enjoying life away from the table is crucial to her success and is hoping to play out the rest of the year with slightly less pressure on her shoulders.

“I always called it tunnel-vision because you’re purely focused on that one thing that you want to get, but right now I’d say that my tunnel is way bigger. Of course I still live for my sport and of course I’m still a full-time athlete but I also just want to try and put a bit less pressure on myself this year and enjoy life…

… You give a lot but you do get a lot of nice things back for it like the travelling, the medals I’ve won and everyone supporting me like my parents, my girlfriend, my sister and my friends. I think that’s something that gives me the energy to continue for another four years”, Kelly van Zon.

Source: International Paralympic Committee

Paralympics Para Table Tennis kelly van Zon