26 Oct 2022

The second day of action, Friday 10th September, at the 2021 ITTF Parkinson’s World Championships in Berlin, competition remained intense but the spirit of taking part was the overriding factor.

England’s Jan Fuller, Switzerland’s Silvia Lerch, Germany’s Thorsten Flues and Portugal’s Damasio Caeiro were the players to attract the attention.

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!

Jan Fuller, impressive in the opening round of women’s singles class 1 Photo: Wolfgang Grote)


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.

Thorsten Flues maintained progress in men’s singles class 1 (Photo: Thorsten Flues)


He plays regularly, being a member of a whatsapp group that comprises those with Parkinson’s. They arrange friendly matches.

Play in Berlin concludes on Saturday 11th September.

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