By Mariam Khan | For Virtus: World Intellectual Impairment Sport
Hong Kong’s Ka Man Wong has her heart and mind set on retaining the women’s table tennis singles Global Games title next year in Brisbane, Australia.
In 2015 in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Wong defeated teammate Mui Wui Ng. Now the London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist is training hard to be at her best once again.
The week-long Global Games, conducted every four years, will be held between 12-19 October 2019. They are the world’s biggest high performance sports event for athletes with intellectual impairments. The Games feature nine sports and over 1,000 athletes from all over the world.
For Wong the Global Games are all about performing well and striving for medals, and that motivates her to succeed. “This is one of the most important competitions after the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and World Intellectual Impairment Sport 2017 World Table Tennis Championships,” she said.
Clinching a gold at the last edition was the “third important medal” for Wong, after her Paralympic gold and Asian Para Games title from Incheon, South Korea, also in 2014.
Wong started playing table tennis in 2000. The challenging elements of the sport is what she relishes the most.
“I enjoy the moment when I can grasp a win after putting all my efforts in the game,” she adds.
What is next for Wong?
It was her father who discovered her potential and encouraged her to take up the sport. Wong finds a sense of accomplishment in staying dedicated to the sport all these years.
Wong is looking forward to the Global Games as she will get to meet and compete with different players from various countries. “To me, Global Games is not only a platform to compete, but also an opportunity to make friends and widen my own horizons,” she said.
There are many players who can give Wong tough competition. But she believes it all lies in her own play. The Hong Kong athlete also needs to spend more time in training to overcome a long-term knee injury that causes difficulty in training.
“All I have to do is to be concentrated and properly execute tactics suggested by coaches,” she said.
The 2019 Global Games also act as the World Championships for all sports. For table tennis, athletics and swimming they are a key stop on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. For all other athletes it is the highest level they can compete at.