13 Oct 2019

Play concluded on the afternoon of Sunday 13th October in the splendid setting of the Westchester Table Tennis Club in Pleasantville, New York, it was the host nation that had the greatest reason the celebrate; they secured three of the four titles on offer.

Margie Alley emerged the women’s singles winner, in the men’s events Ilya Rozenblat and Hamid Ezzat-Ahmadi shared the honours alongside Germany’s Holger Teppe.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Most impressively, Margie Alley secured the title at the final expense of Japan’s Yurie Kato (11-1, 11-8), having at the semi-final stage accounted for Croatia’s Vlatka Dragia (11-8, 11-2); in the adjacent half of the draw Yurie Kato had ended the progress of colleague Asako Katagiri (11-6, 11-6).

“I played table tennis as a child in the basement of our house, I’ve lived in the area for 25 years but it’s only recently that I moved to Pleasantville; I contracted Parkinson’s in March 2012. I tried tennis but I kept falling over, much prefer table tennis, really it’s great to be a world champion.” Margie Alley.

Margie Alley, women’s singles champion (Photo: Warren Rosenberg)


One event for women, for the men, it was three events, organised in classes according the level of impairment, class 1 being the most severe.

Tough match

Holger Teppe, a 34 year old taxi driver, emerged the men’s singles class 1 winner. Following success against Japan’s Naomichi Saito (11-2, 11-9), he secured the title at the final expense of Portugal’s Damasio Caeiro (11-7, 12-10); in the adjacent semi-final, Damasio Caeiro had ousted Germany’s Harry Wissler (11-7, 11-8).

“It was a tough match against Damasio, he made many changes during the match; it was really complicated. I contracted Parkinson’s eight years ago, for sure playing table tennis helps having a better life.” Holger Teppe.

Medallists in men’s singles class 1 (left to right) Damasio Caeiro, Holger Teppe, Harry Wissler and Naomichi Saito with (far right) Leandro Olvech, Director – ITTF Foundation (Photo: Warren Rosenberg)


Impressive from Holger Teppe, for 41 year old Ilya Rozenblat, born in Russia but now resident in Kansas City, in class 2, the performance was equally imposing.

After accounting Brazil’s Roberto Morand (11-8, 11-5), he secured the title at the final expense of Germany’s Thorsten Boomhuis (11-6, 11-2); in the counterpart semi-final Thorsten Boomhuis had overcome Kasturi Rangan of the United States (11-4, 11-3).

“I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s six years ago. I’ve played in para tournaments, I was national champion in 2015. Also, I’ve played in hard bat events. I feel incredible, there has never been a tournament like this; first thing is now to go back home and celebrate with my family. I want to run a similar tournament for people with Parkinson’s in Kansas City.” Ilya Rozenblat

Ilya Rozenblat, the men’s singles class 2 winner (Boris Rosenberg)


Motivated, a Russian wife, Ilya Rozenblat, the director of a data management department for the federal government, has two children, a boy eight years old, a girl 13 years of age.

Play concludes

Gold for Ilya Rozenblat, in the event to conclude proceedings, it was success for Oklahoma’s Hamid Ezzat-Ahmadi. A semi-final win against Navin Kumar of the United States (11-5, 9-11, 11-7), he arrested the title at the final expense of Brazil’s Edmur Mesquita (11-9, 9-11, 11-3), the penultimate round winner in opposition to Japan’s Hiromichi Kawai (11-9, 11-4).

“I am feeling just great, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s some six months ago; I have a robot at home to practise against; I play at a local club four days a week. Today I was really well prepared and I think my forehand may a difference.” Hamid Ezzat-Ahmadi

Medallists decided but above all there was a great sense of unity and pride; one thing is certain, everybody is looking forward to next time, next year cannot come too soon.

A new world title event has been added to the calendar of the International Table Tennis Federation.

The sense of unity (Photo: Warren Rosenberg)
2019 Parkinson's World Championships Holger Teppe. Maggie Alley Ilya Rozenblat Hamid Ezzat-Ahmadi

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Day 3 - 2019 ITTF Parkinson's World Championships