Scottish Parkinson’s Open Table Tennis Championships

The inaugural Scottish Parkinson’s Open Table Tennis Championships were held on Saturday and Sunday 5th & 6th August at the National Sports Training Centre at Inverclyde. The event was organised by Table Tennis Scotland and the Scottish Parkinson’s Table Tennis Association and was sponsored by Teessport.
The competition was well attended with 46 players, all of whom have Parkinson’s participating in the event. In addition to a large contingent of UK players there were also players from Portugal, Sweden, Austria, Spain, Germany and Chile. Many of the players were playing their first competitive event some having only recently taken up the sport.
Parkinson’s Table Tennis competitions use a classification system developed by the ITTF to “grade” the players into groups of similar ability. This system considers the impact of an individual`s Parkinson’s symptoms and their table tennis ability and experience. There are normally three classifications used with class 1 being the highest standard of playing ability.
Note: for all knockout competitions both defeated semi-finalists received a bronze medal although 3rd place play off matches were held.
Play commenced at 09:30 on Saturday with the Men’s and Ladies singles competitions.

The Ladies singles were split into two classifications with each classification played in round robin format.
Class 1 Ladies Singles
Class 1 was dominated by Digna Baynes from Chile who won all her matches. The bronze medal position was very close with Joy Paul (SCO) just edging ahead of Cecilia Hiort (SWE) by 2 points on a points countback.
Gold medal: Digna Baynes (CHI)
Silver: Sandra Muller (GER)
Bronze: Joy Paul (SCO)
Class 2 Ladies Singles
Similarly, class 2 was dominated by Diane Kennedy (SCO) who also won all her matches, with Lynn Arnott (SCO) well ahead of the rest of the group in second place.
Gold medal: Diane Kennedy (SCO)
Silver:  Lynn Arnott, (SCO)
Bronze: Alison Williams (SCO) 

The men’s singles were split into three classifications with each classification played in group format initially with the top two players in each group progressing to the knockout phase.
Class 1 Men’s Singles
 The men’s Class 1 singles went to form with both group winners Paul Howgate (ENG) and Rob Dawson (ENG) coming through the knockout rounds to contest the final which Paul won in four sets after losing the first set.
Gold: Paul Howgate (ENG)
Silver: Rob Dawson, (SCO)
Bronze: Torgny Svedberg (SWE) & Erik Astrand (SWE)
Class 2 Men’s Singles
The men’s class 2 singles final was contested by John Duddy (SCO) and Eric Riley (SCO) who both had to come through exhausting 5 set matches en route to the final against Steve Morley (SCO) and Phil Yeadon (SCO) respectively. This took a toll on Eric who was visibly tiring during the final which he lost in straight sets.

Gold: John Duddy (SCO)
Silver: Eric Riley (SCO)
Bronze: David Shearer (SCO) & Phil Yeadon (ENG)
Class 3 Men’s Singles
Men’s Gold: Derek Main, (SCO)
Silver: Ken Booth (ENG)
Bronze: Tom Burke (SCO) & Alan Drummond (SCO)

In parallel with the men’s singles knockout phase there was a separate consolation (plate) knockout competition for classes 1, 2 & 3. No medals were presented but each consolation winner received a small gift.
Class 1 Men’s Singles Consolation   
Winner:  Javier Perez De Albonez Moras (SPA)
Class 2 Men’s Singles Consolation
 Winner: Robert King (ENG)
Class 3 Men’s Singles Consolation
Winner: Andy McDonagh (SCO) 

The medals were presented by Tournament Referee Charlie Brown.

Play commenced at 09:30 On Sunday with the Men’s and Ladies doubles competitions, with the mixed doubles scheduled for the afternoon session. 
Ladies Doubles
The Ladies doubles were played in group format progressing to knockout in a single classification level.
Both group winners progressed to the final with Cecilia Hiort (SWE) and Pauline Jones (ENG) defeating the pre-tournament favourites Digna Baynes (CHI) and Joy Paul (SCO) in four sets.

Gold: Celia Hiort (SWE) & Pauline Jones (ENG)
Silver: Digna Baynes (CHI) & Joy Paul (SCO)
Bronze: Diane Kennedy (SCO) & Alison Williams (SCO)  / Morag Howie (SCO) & Gill Shaw (ENG)

 The men’s doubles were split into two classifications with each classification played in group format initially with the top two teams in each group progressing to the knockout phase.
Men’s Class 1 Doubles
One of the highlights of this category was a bruising 5 set marathon between eventual winners Andrew Cassy (ENG) & Paul Howgate (ENG) and Erik Astrand (SWE) & Torgny Svedberg (SWE) at the group stage with three of the 5 sets going to deuce and the third set ending 19-17 in favour of the swedes.

Gold: Andrew Cassy (ENG) & Paul Howgate (ENG)
Silver: Damasio Caeiro (POR) & Rob Dawson (ENG)
Bronze: Erik Astrand (SWE) & Torgny Svedberg (SWE) / Javier Moras (SPA) & Robert King (ENG)
Men’s Class 2 Doubles
Gold: Eric Riley (SCO) & Gordon Cameron (SCO)
Silver: Derek Main (SCO) & Brendan Hawdon (SCO)
Bronze: James McGroarty (SCO) & David Shearer (SCO) / Tam McLean (SCO) & David Munn (SCO)

 The mixed doubles were split into two classifications with each classification played in group format initially with the top two teams in each group progressing to the knockout phase.
Class 1 Mixed Doubles
A convincing win for Javier Moras (SPA) & Digna Baynes (CHI) who did not drop a set until the final and both seemed to get stronger as the competition progressed

Gold: Javier Moras (SPA) & Digna Baynes (CHI)
Silver: Erik Astrand (SWE) & Cecilia Hiort (SWE)
Bronze: Brian Carson (SCO) & Joy Paul (SCO) / Andrew Cassy (ENG) & Jenny Thomas (ENG)
Class 2 Mixed Doubles
A thrilling 5 set final eventually won by Steve Morley (SCO) & Lynn Arnott (SCO) with some great play on show from both teams.

Gold: Steve Morley (SCO) & Lynn Arnott (SCO)
Silver: Brendan Hawdon (SCO) & Gill Shaw (SCO)
Bronze: Robert King (ENG) & Sandra Muller (GER) / Kenneth Booth (ENG) & Lynn Tearse (ENG)

The medals for all doubles categories were presented by James Jopling, Scotland Country Director, Parkinson’s UK.

 This was a fantastic event staged in a world class facility. The atmosphere throughout the weekend was friendly, exciting and very positive, which is what we are used to when the Parkinson’s community gather to play table tennis. Every match was played in a very sporting manner with all the players getting maximum enjoyment from the experience. The support from families, friends and the various table tennis clubs who were represented was superb and helped to energise the players.

Thanks go to the organizing Committee, Richard Yule, Terry McLernon, Brian Carson and Alison Woods, and all the volunteers who supported the event.

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