Hong Kong’s former Paralympic champion Ka Man Wong is excited about the 2017 International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sport (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) World Table Tennis Championships, believing it to be the most important event since the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Wong is the defending women’s singles world champion having beat teammate Mui Wui Ng to gold at the 2015 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
The 31-year-old could face Ng once again for the world title from 23-27 October in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.
“I hope I can perform well in the competition and strive for medals,” Wong said. “This is one of the most important competitions after the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. I am looking forward to it.”
Ng now 20, does have the potential to beat her compatriot at a major event. At Rio 2016 she beat Wong to bronze with a 3-0 victory in the women’s singles.
With the two athletes remaining amongst the best in the world, a rematch could be on the cards in Hradec Kralove.
“Ng is an athlete with high potential. We know about the style of play of each other very well,” Wong said. “At that match [during Rio 2016], I just had a bit of advantage over her in terms of experience, so what I did is to play focused and find ways to win.
“I am not certain [about which athletes could challenge me], but it’s all about my own play on the spot. All I have to do is to be concentrated and properly execute the tactics suggested by my coaches.”
Wong, who is recovering from a persistent knee injury, is also looking forward to the team event: “I can play with my teammates as a team who can share the joy or frustration together. At the same time, it keeps me motivated to play better too.”
Having taken up table tennis in 2000, this year Wong is celebrating 14 years since she won her first major international medal at the 2003 World Intellectual Impairment Sport World Table Tennis Championships in Mexico. Since then she has collected multiple singles and doubles titles and remains one of Hong Kong’s best medal hopes.
“Table Tennis provides me with unexpected opportunities in visiting different places for competitions, which has widened my horizons,” Wong said. “Besides, I meet friends and teammates through training, which has also widened my social circle.”
The 2017 World Intellectual Impairment Sport World Table Tennis Championships in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, will feature around 65 players from 14 countries. As well as athletes with an intellectual impairment, it will also be the first World Intellectual Impairment Sport competition to trial new eligibility groups for Down’s syndrome and autism.
The International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sport (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) represents more than 300,000 athletes with intellectual impairments around the world. We give elite athletes the chance to compete at an international level and on the Paralympic stage. But we cannot continue our work towards the inclusion of the world’s biggest impairment group in sport and society without your support.
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