by Ian Marshall
Silvia Lerch underlined the ethos of the occasion; quite simply she won her first match in the tournament.
Present in the consolation event in women’s singles class 2; at the semi-final stage she overcame Austria’s Ansuela Braunschmid in one of the closest matches of the day (9-11, 11-9, 10-12, 12-10, 11-5).
“I came to the Parkinson’s World Table Tennis Championships wishing I could at least win one match. Now that I have I want to win more.” Silvia Lerch
Success for Silvia Lerch; it was the same in the opening round of women’s singles class 1 for England’s Jan Fuller. She accounted for Germany’s Marta Siegel (11-6, 5-11, 11-4, 11-6).
“I did ok. It was a pretty steady game and I felt comfortable. She was a good opponent, but I did expect to win, or at least I had hoped to win. I’m taking one game at a time, but I’m going to win the next game!” Jan Fuller
Jan Fuller was diagnosed nine years ago with Parkinison’s, she played table tennis as a junior in her early 20s but took a 28 break!
She started again six years ago after meeting her current coach and partner. She hails from a sporting family but is unable to take part in skiing, the sport she pursued for many years, owing to her physical condition.
Now to stay active, she plays table tennis.
An impressive performance from Jan Fuller, it was the same in men’s singles class 1 from Thorsten Flues; in the first round, he overcame George Chan, like Jan Fuller from England (11-4, 11-5, 11-3).
“I was very nervous because my opponent played very well. I have seen him play and it was dangerous to play against him. We are all here to win so I have high hopes for my next game. The event has a very nice atmosphere and I think it brings out the best of me.” Thorsten Flues
Thorsten Flues was diagnosed three years ago and started to play table tennis while doing physiotherapy.
He plays regularly, being a member of a whatsapp group that comprises those with Parkinson’s. They arrange friendly matches.
A positive outcome for Thorsten Flues; for Portugal’s Damasio Caeiro in partnership with colleague Barão Cardadero, it was an opening round men’s doubles defeat in class 1 against Denmark’s Jasper Jerslund and Lars Bo Kaspersen (11-3, 11-4, 7-11, 11-6).
“I’m not happy with the result. We could have done better but this is table tennis. My partner and I wasn’t at our best. My partner was distracted because he really wanted to win in the singles in the memory of his son, who died of a car accident not too long ago. I understand that and so losing isn’t so bitter anymore.” Damasio Caeiro
Play in Berlin concludes on Saturday 11th September.