Acer Ebru and Chen-Po Yen qualifies for Paris 2024

The II1 table tennis tournament brought intense excitement as the qualifying matches unfolded at the GG2023 on 6th June. Spectators were treated to nail-biting Paris 2024 qualifying matches in both the male and female II1 categories. The atmosphere was filled with anticipation as each match brought its own set of surprises and intense moments.

In II1 Women’s semi-final matches, while home favourite Lea Ferney had to face defeat at the hands of Turk Surmeyra (TUR) by 3-0, Acer Ebru (TUR) thrashed ITTF World no. three, NG Mui Wui (HKG) by 3-0 and got one step closer to the golden ticket for Paris 2024. On the other hand, Wong Ting Ting made it to the finals by achieving victories over Turk Surmeyra (TUR) and Seo YangHee (KOR) in the quarterfinals and semi-finals, respectively, with scores of 3-0 and 3-1.

In the thrilling finals, Acer and Wong Ting Ting treated the audience to an exhilarating series of matches. Acer displayed an aggressive playing style, launching powerful smashes, while Ting Ting calmly defended against the onslaught. However, Ting Ting eventually succumbed to Acer’s relentless attacks and lost the finals by a score of 3-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-5).

Acer Ebru with her Paris 2024 Ticket. ©Virtus. Photo Credit: T.NGUYEN

Ebru Acer created history by becoming the first athlete with an intellectual impairment from Turkey in Table Tennis to qualify for the Paralympic Games ever. She broke into tears while talking to Virtus.

I don’t know what to say, I am very happy. I practised really hard for this competition, and I am very happy to qualify for Paralympics,” said Acer Ebru.

Representatives from Virtus member organisations from Turkey were overwhelmed too by Acer’s victory.

“It’s the first time a Turkish athlete in Table Tennis will go to the Paralympics and we are extremely happy about it. Our team has become very strong in the past few years in Table tennis, we have been training for the past six years for this achievement.” Mr. Birol, President of Virtus Turkey told Virtus.

“Virtus competitions have played a key part in Acer’s journey, without Virtus competition Acer wouldn’t have been able to achieve this feat today,” he further added.

Meanwhile, in Men’s category, Makajew Maciej (POL) took everyone by surprise by defeating three-time Paralympian, Peter Palos (HUN), and Sam Von Einem (AUS) by 3-0, 3-2 in knockout matches to secure a place in the finals. Kim Chang-Gi (KOR) too stood well to everyone’s expectations by winning all the matches, beating the ITTF world no. 1 Lucas Creange by 3-2, but later succumbed to Chen Po Yen from Chinese Taipei in the semifinals.

Chen-Po Yen with his Paris 2024 ticket. © Virtus. Photo Credit: T.NGUYEN

Chen-Po faced Makajew Maciej in the finals and had a clean win by 3-0 (11-8,11-8, 15-13) over Makajew. Seventeen-year-old, Chen-Po was delighted to winch ticket to Paris 2024 and was seen celebrating with his contingent. Talking to Virtus, Dr Mu, Ming-Chu, President of the Chinese Taipei Paralympic Committee, who was also the Head of Delegation for Chinese Taipei said,

I am very proud of this young boy who is just a high school student. Chen had no specialised training program to train himself but he did his best and achieved this extraordinary result. I am very happy and proud that he qualified for the Paralympic Games in Paris next year.”

International Paralympic Committee President, Andrew Parsons was among the distinguished guests who watched the historical finals and was very impressed by their performances.

It was an honour to present both the athletes with the Gold Medal and the qualification certificate to Paris 2024″, Andrew Parsons commented.

Virtus extends its heartfelt congratulations to both qualifiers for their exceptional performance and looks forward to their Paralympic Games debut in Paris 2024. Their participation in the Paralympic Games will serve as an inspiration to athletes worldwide.