23 Oct 2019

Chen Junjian, nicknamed 'Jessy', has established himself as one of Oceania's top table tennis stars and has great ambitions of representing Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

However, Jessy's journey to table tennis stardom began amongst the backdrop of devastating circumstances over 10 years ago.

by Simon Daish

Jessy and his family decided to make the move from southern China to relocate to the Solomon Islands during his teenage years for work. Shortly upon arrival the family were targeted as part of a violent protest movement in 2006, leaving Jessy in intensive care.

Following the incident, Jessy’s traumatic experience was compounded by suffering from extreme blood loss and a heart attack – he also learnt that he would have to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

Unable to return to China, Jessy and his family were evacuated to Australia where he spent a year in recovery, and ultimately where his sporting journey began. Offered as part of his rehabilitation programme, Jessy decided to take up table tennis and hasn’t looked back since.

Now Jessy has developed not just into one of the finest players Australia has to offer but also one of the biggest stars from the entire Oceania continent, a statement he further proved earlier this year.

Demonstrating his talent with men’s singles class 2-3 gold at the 2017 Para Oceania Championships in Suva, Jessy added another title to his collection at the 2019 edition of the event held in Darwin back in May with a fantastic display in the men’s singles class 3-5 competition.

Two times a continental champion, making the people of Australia extremely proud in the process, Jessy doesn’t want to stop there; he wants to pay his adoptive country back in the best way possible, as he eyes up a possible selection for Team Australia at next summer’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Whether we see Jessy in Tokyo or not, his story is still undeniably touching and something for young players across the world to aspire to.

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