Curtain falls to best ever World Para Table Tennis Championships – TBEN

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The lights flashed, the music blared, the electronic screen twinkled as the curtain fell for the 2022 Andalusian World Para Table Tennis Championships on Saturday night, November 12.

A drama filled tournament, in which the players had given their all, came to an end; Most importantly, the total commitment of everyone involved in any aspect of the organization raised the bar for Para table tennis.

“Our hosts have been outstanding and delivered a memorable event. I would like to congratulate and thank the Royal Spanish Table Tennis Federation and its delivery partners, especially the Government of the Region of Andalusia and the Municipality of Granada.” — Petra Sörling, ITTF President

The sport was presented at new heights in Granada; the breathtaking arcade covered with eight tables and a 30-meter screen filled one side of the arena. Spectators were treated to world-class sports, while enjoying an entertaining show.

“We witnessed higher levels of presentation than ever before at a Para table tennis tournament, high quality of preparation and delivery, the athletes here felt like the stars of the show on a beautiful stage that deserved their performance. My congratulations to the Royal Spanish Table Tennis Federation for such a successful event.” Steve Dainton, CEO of the ITTF Group

In addition, the organizers of the Andalusian World Para Championships 2022 have also succeeded in their ambitions to engage the local communities and leave a lasting legacy.

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Over several months, they developed a program for school children who met athletes, learned about the different countries that qualified for the competition, and eventually attended some competitions. José Manuel Ruiz, a grade 10 player and also a physical education teacher who hails from Granada, memorably won the men’s open singles at the 2010 World Para Championships, visited more than 20 local schools before the tournament started.

“Children learned about the Olympic and Paralympic values; everyone was quite surprised that such a big event would come to Granada.” Jose Manuel Ruiz

In the arcade, 39 events in total, South Korea set the standard with no less than 10 gold; Kim Gitae, Class 11, emerged as the most successful player. He secured gold in all three possible events – men’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles – the only player to achieve this feat.

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Famous names retained and titles regained; who impressed on the debut, Brazilian Sophia Kelmer, just 14 years old, stood out among the newcomers. She took bronze in the women’s singles class 8.

Win, lose or contribute; everyone will have very special memories of the Andalusian World Para Table Tennis Championships 2022; Thank you to everyone who made a wonderful tournament possible.

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