by Clara Riddellova, Czech Para Open Organising Committee
We asked the organisers as well as both former and current players; what do they admire most about para table tennis players?
Michal Bardon (former international, current Slovakian coach)
They have a strong will and don’t give up. Most of our team’s wheelchair players picked up table tennis after their injury. Nevertheless, their stroke technique is perfect.
Ing. Tomáš Staníček (Director of TJ Ostrava, the venue for the tournament)
What I find most inspiring is the fact that even though they have suffered a lot, they are able to overcome their unfortunate fate and find a new purpose in their life. One needs to cherish that; when I witnessed some of the matches, it’s hard to believe that they can play at such a high level.
Karel Sekanina (Umpire)
It’s instinctive for them to be tough fighters. I must applaud their evolved techniques. I think that could be attributed to them playing before their injury or illness. However, if they got into table tennis after that it is even more astonishing.
Zbyněk Bajger (Coach of TJ KST Ostrava)
Sometimes when I watch my players during practice or matches, instead of telling them to work harder I would rather send them to look at how wheelchair players perform. It sets an example for them.
2018 Czech Para Open: Draws and Results